Despite a reduction in solid bulk volumes last year, Dunkerque-Port's annual traffic reached 53 MT, up 3% from 2018 (51.6 MT).
France's third-ranking port, Dunkerque-Port is well known as a port handling heavy bulk cargoes for its numerous industrial installations. It has built its reputation in other sectors such as cross-Channel Ro-Ro traffic to Great Britain, containers, fruit, etc. The port is also France's leading port for ore and coal imports and leading port for copper imports.
Over the past 5 years, growth in traffic has reached 22% (43.50 MT in 2013). In the container sector, the significant increase in volumes handled at Dunkerque-Port is also in line with the trend observed in recent years (450,000 TEU, + 7% / 2018 & + 54% / 2013).
Solid bulk was down 9% to stand at 23.5 MT. The economic downturn currently affecting the European steel industry is weighing on the ore and coal traffic which fell by 10% and 19% respectively to 13.3 MT and 5.3 MT. The coal sector is also undergoing the more structural effect of the drop in demand for steam coal. Boosted by a good start to the 2019/2020 campaign grain trading posted a significant increase of 43% at 2 MT. Traffic in “small” solid bulk fell 9% (2.9 MT)
Liquid bulk rose very sharply by 71% to 9.4 MT, driven by a very high level of LNG trading. The new LNG terminal berthed 72 port calls over the full year representing a total traffic of 5.1 MT (+ 320%). Overall, gas traffic (LNG + industrial gas) posted a gain of 232% at 5.6 MT. Petroleum products were down 2% at 3.34 MT, while other liquid bulk posted growth of 4% to stand at 0.5 MT.
General cargo at the port was stable at 20.1 MT. There was a downturn in Cross-Channel traffic (15 MT) as the market prepares for Brexit: the number of trucks and trailers decreased by 2% to 583,000 freight units while that of passenger cars stood at 579,000 vehicles (-16%). Passenger traffic dropped 11% to 2,341,000 travellers.
Containers again posted a record year at 450,000 TEU, up 7%. The increase is due in particular to Dunkerque's positioning as a transhipment hub . Break-bulk cargo posted good figures (1.2 MT, + 9%).
2019 was marked by the commissioning of the extension to the quai de Flandre in the West Port. The completion of the operation is a major step in the further development of the container sector in Dunkerque. Dunkerque-Port can now simultaneously berth two of the largest ships in the world fleet under optimal conditions.