Despite the context and confinement, HAROPA ports remain 100% operational to supply the country and meet export needs, thanks to the efforts made by all players in the supply chain (ship services, handlers, logisticians, carriers) to ensure continuity of service.
These first-quarter results, which reflect the initial impacts of the overall slowdown in the global economy, include very contrasting situations across the various sectors:
The Covid-19 effect is beginning to be felt in the Container industry;
The temporary limitation of refining capacity is impacting the liquid bulk sector;
Record exports of cereals are boosting the solid bulk sector.
The Covid-19 effect began to be felt in the Container sector from mid-March: traffic was 530 000 TEUs, down 23%, with 156 stopovers by container ships in March 2020, i.e. 16 fewer than in March 2019.
The effect of the slowdown in maritime traffic from Asia due to Covid-19 has been felt mainly from the second half of March. The effects of the pandemic-related economic crisis are now also being seen through a slowdown in global consumption and European exports, which will have a significant impact on container and ro-ro traffic for import and export in April.
River traffic in containers on the Seine axis decreased by the equivalent of 13.5% at the end of March.
The temporary limitation on refining capacity is impacting the liquid bulk sector, down 16% to 10.48 Mt.
This trend was expected because refining capacity has been circumstantially slowed by unintended technical shutdowns, notably that related to the December fire at the Normandy refinery, in addition to the technical shutdown of the Gandpuits refinery in Seine et Marne (whose activity will not resume until the end of the confinement). The impacts of the health crisis on consumption of refined products are likely to be felt on traffic in the coming weeks.
Record cereal exports boost the solid bulk sector, up 18% to 4.26 Mt. The 2019-2020 cereal season is excellent with 7.2 Mt loaded at the end of March, an increase of 24% compared to the previous season. The dynamism of cereal exports, for example, ensures that Africa receives a proportion of its agricultural supplies. The level of shipments in recent weeks suggests a historically good season.
Construction sector: maritime flows for the construction sector are down significantly due to the shutdown of most construction sites.
Cruise activity (maritime and river, with accommodation or simple boat trips) is totally at a standstill.
In the context of this health crisis, HAROPA has decided to postpone payment of site fees for 1 March - 30 June until 10 July 2020, to support companies based on its port sites.
HAROPA, the 5th largest port complex in Northern Europe, is a joint venture between the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris. It is connected to every continent owing to a first-rate international shipping offer (linking around 700 ports worldwide). It serves a vast hinterland the centre of which is in the Seine valley and the Paris region forming the biggest French consumer market area. With around 10 Normandy and Paris area partner ports, HAROPA now forms in France a global transport and logistics system, capable of providing a comprehensive end-to-end service. HAROPA handles over 120 million tons of cargo by sea and waterway each year. HAROPA business represents 160,000 jobs.