The northern French ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris are working together on a joint effort to attract business to a logistics corridor along the river Seine.
The new HAROPA tri-port complex handles 130 million metric tons of deep-sea and inland waterway traffic annually and has 34, 596 acres of land available for logistics and industrial use. HAROPA “is positioning itself as a competitive and sustainable logistics system” for the North West France hinterland, the three ports said in a statement.
The establishment of HAROPA is the latest initiative to win back traffic, particularly containers, diverted to rival foreign ports, notably Antwerp and Rotterdam, in the past decade as French ports struggled with labor unrest and low productivity.
Dock strikes early 2011 were largely responsible for Le Havre’s container traffic falling 7.5 percent from the previous year to 2.22 million 20-foot equivalent units at a time when most northern European ports posted increases.
Unions last year accepted labor reforms at seven of the country’s largest ports, including Le Havre and Rouen. Le Havre, France’s largest container port, said this has resulted in a 15 percent increase in productivity.
Le Havre is aiming to increase its annual container traffic to 5 million TEUs by 2020.
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