The development of inland waterway transport is therefore naturally in line with the objectives of the Grenelle Environment Forum, which sets the increase in alternative modes of transport to road at 25 %.
Barges, river convoys, sea-river coastal vessels and container carriers can carry almost anything: construction materials, construction waste, general waste, coal, grain, flour, steel, cars, chemicals or non-perishable manufactured products…
The Seine is a major local transport route for the 12 million inhabitants of Île-de-France. 13 % of Ile-de-France's supply now comes by river, thus avoiding the movement of more than one million trucks on the roads each year.
There are three types of traffic that the port teams are working to develop by offering companies suitable logistics solutions and by marketing the land and buildings necessary for companies to set up along the waterway.
> traditional traffic: Construction/Cereal/Steel … for which it is a question of adapting to changes in flow structure. Construction accounts for 75% of traffic (construction materials and excavated earth). Half of Île-de-France's river traffic is intra-regional.
> high growth in traffic: containers and waste. The current problem is one of massification. To meet the estimated 300% increase in container waterway traffic by 2020, HAROPA / Ports de Paris has a network of 6 container terminals in the Île-de-France region (doubling the Gennevilliers terminal and extension of the Limay, Bonneuil-sur-Marne, Bruyères-sur-Oise, Evry and Montereau terminals) which will increase capacity to 340,000 TEUs from 2012 to 600,000 TEUs in 2020. Since 2005, Paris has been the leading inland container terminal in France.
> emerging traffic: urban logistics (express courier, final distribution for mass retail). Experiments are currently being carried out on the urban distribution of goods transported by boats (equipped with an onboard crane). Consideration is currently being given to the routing of pallets in Paris in conjunction with shared logistics between companies.