Ports of Normandy Authority (PNA) and the Port of Le Havre have signed a partnership agreement with a view to setting up a maritime container shuttle service. The agreement will pave the way for a strengthening of the co-operation in the Baie de Seine between the two entities, covering Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg on the one hand, and Le Havre on the other.
The agreement between Ports of Normandy Authority (PNA) and the Port of Le Havre was signed on 2 December 2010 in the offices of the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie.
A study led jointly by PNA and the Port of Le Havre has made it possible to identify a range of possibilities for enhanced co-operation. Among them, there is the realistic prospect of generating regular container traffic between the port of Caen‐Ouistreham and the shipping terminals at Le Havre on the basis of five hours’ point-to-point navigation time (i.e. from quayside to quayside).
This study was prolonged by a joint reflection of a more technical nature regarding the type of shuttle service envisaged, so as to benefit from — and maximise — competitive handling conditions. Today, PNA and the Port of Le Havre are launching a Call for Demonstration of Interest with a view to setting up this shuttle service. At the same time, the two players have signed the partnership agreement already mentioned in order to define the role of each party, so as to better contribute to the success of the overall project.
For Caen-Ouistreham, which is owned and run by PNA, the objective is to remain an attractive port location for its users and to deal with the needs of new players in the port’s hinterland.
Jean-Michel Sévin, Director General of PNA, explains: “The adaptation of the port of Caen-Ouistreham to containerisation constitutes one of the main priorities of PNA’s Plan d’Actions Stratégiques [Strategic Development Plan]. And this project, organised for the two port areas [concerned], is testimony to the real dynamics of co-operation that our two port locations are committed to.”
For Laurent Castaing, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Port of Le Havre, the challenge is about reducing — thanks to the use of bulk transport — the waiting time in relation to container movements, and contributing to the fluidity of shipments through the port’s terminals. L Castaing points out: “The Basse-Normandie ports offer the possibility of significant transhipment [of goods] by sea, instead of by road.”
Sustainable development is, today, a major concern for PNA and the ports it owns. However, the increase in containerised traffic generated by the businesses based in the north-west of France has tended to slip away from the commercial ports located along the coast of Normandy, such as Caen-Ouistreham. In turn, this has generated substantial land-based movements of goods towards the port of Le Havre, which has tended to act as a magnet across the whole of north-western France, due to its critical mass. It is against this challenging backdrop that the Normandy ports have got together in order to design and develop relevant coastal container-navigation solutions.
The co-operative approach adopted by PNA and the Port of Le Havre has informed the partnership agreement being signed by the two entities and will underpin the project’s success. Although the objectives pursued by PNA and those sought by Le Havre are not identical, given the differing characteristics of the port areas concerned, there is no doubt in the minds of the decision-makers involved that the agreement between PNA and Le Havre represents a common solution that suits both parties.
The framework agreement signed in December 2010 between PNA and the Port of Le Havre, while specifying the procedures to be followed by each party in some detail, will make it possible to reinforce the inter-port co-operation that has already been initiated in the Baie de Seine region of north-western France.
The complete dossier for the Appel à Manifestation d’Intérêt pour l’établissement d’une navette maritime conteneurs entre Le Havre et Caen (Call for Demonstration of Interest in the establishment of a sea container shuttle service between Le Havre and Caen) can be provided on request and is available here:
The ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg are owned and run by Ports Normands Associés, known in English as the Ports of Normandy Authority (PNA). PNA’s head office is in Caen.
The historic region of Normandy is currently made up of two separate regions: Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie, in French) and Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie). The two ports are located on the north-west coast of France and face southern England, on the other side of the English Channel. They belong to the western, maritime part of Basse-Normandie
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