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Unions in struggle with Paris, while Haropa battles to maintain customers

Harbour facilities on the Seine, the so-called Haropa ports, including the Seine, Rouen and Le Havre ports, which will be legally established as a single entity in 2021, are offering incentives in an effort to regain lost ground, following two months of intermittent strike action.

Haropa sales and Marketing director Laurent Foloppe told Container News that the ro-ro sector had lost volumes from many of the major car manufacturers including Fiat, Peugeot and BMW. Container carriers had also diverted port calls as the strike hit Le Havre delayed vessels, with a number of carriers looking to route cargo via Belgian ports as an alternative.

Speaking on 2 March after Haropa had announced new measures to recover lost cargo business. Foloppe said, “We are offering €30 (US$33.41) per container reimbursement, €18 (US$20.04) from the port and €12 (US$13.36) from the terminal for 100,000 containers delayed at Le Havre during the 14 strike days in December and January, that’s €3 (US$3.34) million in addition to the €3 million announced in early February.”

In early February the port had offered customers a “one-off commercial rebate,” as a “loyalty measure”. It is now looking to firm up its port rebates as it is faced with further cargo losses.

Foloppe stressed that the €3 million was purely for import cargo and would be paid to importers and freight forwarders. A separate rebate was under discussion for export cargo, to be paid to carriers with assets calling at the port, rather than slot charterers, but said Foloppe this rebate would be considerably smaller, but the exact amount was still under negotiation.

“Import cargo is allowed four free days before storage charges are added, whereas export cargo is allowed 10 free days so the charges paid would be considerably less,” explained Foloppe.

In addition, all new ship services using Haropa ports to will be subject to a 10% discount from April to December on port services such as tug operations, pilotage and mooring, explained Foloppe, who emphasised these measures were aimed at “encouraging business not to pay for the impact of industrial action”.

Foloppe also pointed out that a €1.4 (US$1.55) billion investment programme in that will develop new berths, extend rail and barge operations as well as ro-ro operations, new logistics and warehousing and new technology such as the 5G agreement with Nokia will improve the ports’ operations.

Nick Savvides
Managing Editor

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