Published at 10/04/2018


Relying upon good traffic figures for 2017 (10% rise for all sea trades including 14% for container traffic with about 3 million TEU) and a healthier financial situation, HAROPA - Port of Le Havre presented an ambitious investment scheme during the meeting of its Supervisory Board on March 30th, equal to the growth prospects of the activity. Please find hereunder and attached hereto the press release on the subject.


The Supervisory Board approved the accounts of the Port of Le Havre for 2017.

The turnover for 2017 exceeds M€ 180 (1.5% increase) mainly distributed in port dues, land receipts and port operation. These accounts translate on the one hand the brisk business and on the other hand, the expense control.

All trades are indeed on the rise, especially marked by the good figures in bulk traffic; land revenue also posts good performance. All this comes within the framework of control of the expenditure which makes it possible to derive a cash flow on the rise.

Cash flow then amounts to M€ 41.6, exceeding the target set by the Strategic Plan for 2014/2019 at M€ 40 in 2019.

The approved subsidies to assist port development:

The subsidies approved over the next years (especially within the scope of the CPER -State-Region Contract Plan- and CPIER -Interregional State-Region Contract Plan- for the period of 2015-2020) amount to M€ 115.

This amount which is not enough to cover all the identified investments, justifies the prioritization process initiated by the port.


These results make it possible to relaunch a scheme of investments necessary to the continuation of the growth of the leading French port for external trade. This scheme is structured around two axes: 

  • the investments of maintenance and modernisation of the existing  property self-funded by HAROPA – Port of Le Havre,
  • the investments of development:



The public debate which took place from October 12th, 2017 to January 19th, 2018 showed that there was a very broad consensus on the need to develop the river transport of sea containers along the Seine corridor for competitiveness and environmental protection challenges. The dialogue also emphasized the complementary nature of the three options of improvement of the river access to Port 2000 which were discussed (the cat-flap, the extension of the multimodal terminal, the optimization of the northern and southern routes). In addition, it showed that the complementarity between the options also lies in their availability in time, that the cat-flap could not be operational before five years and that the multimodal terminal had to continue and develop its activity before and beyond.

The Supervisory Board thus decided, in its meeting of March 30th, to include the cat-flap project in the scheduling of the investments of the port of Le Havre and carry on the studies with a view to draw up an application file for authorization.

But, it also emerged from this debate that the creation of the cat-flap could not guarantee alone the effective and sustainable development of sea container river transport along the Seine corridor and the Supervisory Board thus decided to initiate a global plan of actions, with all stakeholders concerned, for the development of the river transport of sea containers, including five worksites which will be launched before the end of the first six months of 2018:

  • Worksite n°1: improving efficiency and the cost of the logistics chains via the multimodal terminal, especially by studying the integration of the rail shuttle in the service provided by the multimodal terminal for better coordination.
  • Worksite n°2: pooling by river operators of their means of transport in order to increase their productivity and lower the costs;
  • Worksite n°3: reducing handling costs on sea terminals for waterway trades via dedicated organisations or different commercial policies between actors;
  • Worksite n°4: improving the navigation conditions and performance of the river boats on the Seine via a connected information system and a scheduling of works providing the best availability possible to the routes from the port of Le Havre up to the inland terminals (a project already started in partnership with VNF -French navigable Waterways-):
  • Worksite n°5: improving the types of engines to reduce consumptions, coming within the scope of the energy transition and strengthening the ecological advantage of river transport against road transport.


The funding now available does not make it possible to implement the whole scheme. HAROPA – Port of Le Havre will thus look for additional subsidies, especially to the European commission, and will work on prioritization and phasing of the projects according to the financial capacity that could be resorted to.

This is with this aim in view that the port will refer to the Development Board and the Investment Commission (**), early this month.

The Supervisory Board, the decision-making body as regards port investments, shall approve a projected schedule of completion of the investments, armed with these surveys.

(*) The Development Board of the Grand Port Maritime du Havre was born from the law on the port reform dated July 4th, 2008 It is referred to about the strategic plan, the investment projects and the tariffing policy of the port. It consists of 34 members representing four colleges: representatives of the port community; representatives of the local authorities located in the port precincts; representatives of the staff of the companies working on the port; and qualified persons interested to the port development.

(**) The Investment Commission of the Development Board, born from the law on Blue economy, consists of 10 members of the private sector who have invested in a significant way (M€ 10) on the port public land and 10 members of the public sector (including the State and local authorities…). It is presided over by Hervé Morin, president of the Regional Council. It gives advice on the strategic plan and on the public investment projects of infrastructure of general interest; the threshold of the investment projects submitted to the Commission is set at M€ 30.

About HAROPA - Port of Le Havre

Owing to an outstanding location on the West-European sea board, HAROPA - Port of Le Havre, ≠1 French port for external trade and 5th largest North-European port for container trade, accommodates each year around 6,000 vessels among which the world largest containerships. Accessible 24/7 without any limitation of tide, it handled over 70 million tonnes of cargo in 2017 and 40 % of the French imports of crude oil.

Being a member of HAROPA, ≠1 French port system, together with the ports of Rouen and Paris, Port of Le Havre offers an easy and fast gateway to all continents for all world major shipping lines with around 700 ports of call. As one of the biggest European port systems, HAROPA has about 500 hectares of available land and estate reserves along the Seine corridor. It helps its customers setting up and managing competitive and sustainable logistics systems to serve the N° 1 European consumer basin with 25 million inhabitants.

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