The Port of Le Havre will keep its port dues for containerships at last year’s levels in 2012 for the third straight year, while its major rival, the Port of Antwerp, raised its dues 2 percent.
The Le Havre port authority said the freeze is aimed at “facilitating the return of confidence by container shipping lines and helping recapture containerized trades, a move initiated since the implementation of the French port reform.”
The volume of containers handled by Le Havre in the first nine months of 2011 increased by 9 percent year-over-year to 1.65 million 20-foot equivalent units, due in large port to transshipment activities, the port authority said.
Antwerp’s container shipping dues hike is the first in three years. The authority said the increased dues will fund port infrastructure development, including improvements to terminal facilities.
Both ports will offer a 10 percent discount on port dues to shipping lines that operate the most “environmentally friendly” ships in the port as of Jan. 1. Antwerp will also extend the reduced rate to breakbulk carriers that it introduced in 2010.