Port of HAROPA: Gateway to Europe
The synergies of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris ports provide end-to-end multimodal logistics solutions and make available seamless connectivity for maritime trade between India and the European countries. In an interview, Herve Cornede, Director-Commercial an
QTell us about the concept of ‘HAROPA’ and your reasons for coming to India.
HAROPA encompasses three main ports. One of them is the largest container port of Le Havre, the second being the number-one break bulk port of France, Rouen and the third being the biggest logistics hub of Paris.
HAROPA is a very new concept in Europe that not only buys the synergies of three very large cargo systems in the Normandy region along the river Seine but also connects a very large industrial hinterland of Normandy. As most of the cargo is destined to Paris ports, there is a waterway connection to reach all the places where the ports are located and also there is a very efficient railway system as well as the road system. So, by virtue of this, they are able to provide perfect logistics solutions in terms of deepdraught ports.
Le Havre is the first port in Europe at the mouth of English Channel and located on the north west of French coast. An advantage that Le Havre as a port has is that they can handle the biggest vessels to the extent of 18,000 TEUs due to its deep-draught facilities.
Changes in traffic with India are increasing by 20 per cent. In a way, the Indian market is increasing a lot, with top Indian exports being textiles, garments, pharmaceuticals, etc. Besides using the facilities of Haropa, the Government should also look at operations in other areas of Haropa in India.
QWhat are the added advantages which shipping lines can get from HAROPA?
The first advantage they can have is that this port provides the fastest transit time. Considering its geographical location in Europe, this port has multi-facilities. Its cost and time advantages compared with its counterparts are already enabling Indian exporters to move to the next level with increased cooperation between cargo communities from both sides.
In terms of transhipment, we are very well located; we are receiving more and more transhipments to UK, Ireland, Scotland and often Spain, Portugal and the Baltic region. HAROPA is connected by all three modes of transport with 125 weekly services to all over Europe. The big logistics zone along the same river allows us to be 30 per cent more cost competitive. The biggest advantage is the congestion-free road access and excellent rail connectivity when cargo is moved to the hinterland. Apart from that, the customs in HAROPA are setting benchmarks for customs of other countries to follow.
QHow do you look forward to doing business with Indian customers?
We are looking forward to more cargo and services to customers. Also, alongside we are working a lot on infrastructure from crane to rail barge to inland waterways and VIT equipments because unless we are able to clear the goods within five minutes, there are immense challenges that have to be faced because of the congestion.
are the future plans of HAROPA?
We have invested in one big multimodal platform which will open in few weeks. For us it was a big investment to the extent of € 40 million. We are working on IT solutions; we being an old port are connected and have a semi-IT system. So, it’s a kind of single window for exporters, importers, forwarders and shipping companies. We are trying to develop services that can be used to transport goods with the help of waterways and contribute to an efficient logistics system.
does HAROPA plan to strengthen its rank in world container trade?
We believe that the economic situation in Europe will recover; we need a little bit increase. Last year, we had a very flat increase; roughly we grew by nine per cent, but this year we grew by only five per cent. The HAROPA system is roughly 30 per cent cheaper for Indian exports than its European counterparts; so in a way we attract more and more Indian exporters and after that we distribute because we have our regular feeder services.
Herve Cornede Director-Commercial and Marketing HAROPA Ports