A strong flow of container traffic at the Port of Le Havre in 2002 was responsible for a new record of 20 million metric tons (MT) in the category of general cargo for both import and export, an increase of more than 2 MT from 2001, according to the preliminary results for 2002 released by the port authority.
Container tonnage increased to 16.8 MT, up 15.1 percent from 2001. Le Havre handled 1.72 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2002 – nearly 200,000 more than the previous year. Monthly container records were broken three times in March, July and November of 2002.
“We are gratified that our growth rate for containers, one of the highest among the major ports of Northern Europe, reflects the major investments being made in infrastructure and equipment,” noted Jean-Marc Lacave, Executive Director, Port of Le Havre Authority
. “Le Havre is a very attractive port for clients, and we anticipate continued success as our container capabilities expand with the construction of Port 2000,” he added.
Along with general cargo, shipments of various other merchandise also increased. Solid bulks rose to 5.6 MT, 28.9 percent higher than 2001, and coal traffic totaled 2.5 MT, up 7.5 percent. Cereals increased 36.1 percent from 2001, animal feed 27.9 percent, and cements 6.8 percent. Additionally, as work progressed on Port 2000, traffic of construction materials for the site rose 74.9 percent.
Conversely, the economic situation and the work in progress at the Normandy Refinery contributed to a slowdown of petroleum activity at Le Havre, marked primarily by a decline of 11.4 percent in crude oil.
In 2002, 859,000 ferry passengers transited the port to and from Portsmouth (UK), an increase of 5.5 percent over 2001.