Dunkirk: 2016 traffic is recovering

Surpassing 46.7 million tons, the port of Dunkirk, France's third largest trading port behind Marseille and Le Havre, has seen its annual traffic increased in 2016 compared to 2015 (+ 0.3%). The full containers increased by 7% to 221 196 TEU, confirming the position of Dunkirk as the first port of call for imports in Europe

Container vessel in operation : Load - Unload of a container vessel

The Grand Port maritime de Dunkerque has just released the traffic figures for 2016. It increased by 0.3% compared to 2015, for a total of 46.7 million tonnes, despite the slowdown of the ArcelorMittal business and the Versalis petrochemical site last year, and the closure of SRD (Raffinerie in Dunkirk).

"This is a rather positive year, with an increase in traffic although somewhat slowed down, but with a number of records, notably in the container sector, where we managed + 7%," said Stéphane Raison, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the port of Dunkirk at a press conference in Lille.

"This traffic comes from the confidence of a number of shippers, Gérard Mulliez (founder of Auchan) or other brands like Castorama or Roquette, who trust the port and who decided in 2016 to pull out all the guns stating “We must go through Dunkirk", he added.


Container traffic and modal report discard records

General cargo held up well with a slight decrease of 1% for a tonnage of 20.3 MT. By 2015, cross-Channel traffic had been exceptional at 16.25 MT, with a growth of 17%. 2016 traffic nevertheless confirms the results of 2015 reaching 16 MT, down slightly by 2%.

Thanks to the support of the large regional shippers, and to the shipping company CMA CGM, container traffic grew substantially, with a new record of 341,041 TEU (+ 7%), for 3.15 million tonnes (+ 4%). Full containers alone increased by 7% for 221 196 TEU, confirming the position of Dunkirk as the first port of call for imports in Europe.

In 2016, the share of alternative modes, waterway and rail, reached 11%, an increase of 4 points compared to 2015.

  • The inland waterway system shows a little more than 20 000 TEUs with a modal share increasing from 4% to 7%.
  • The railway system is approaching the 10 000 TEUs mark with a modal share which gains 1 point to 4%.

In 2017, the port of Dunkirk will also carry out works to extend a wharf "which will enable  berthing of the largest ships of the world", said S.Raison, specifying that the amount of this investment was 61 million euros over the next two years. In all, 6,210 ships entered the port in 2016.

About the port of Dunkirk :

9th port of the Channel Range and North Sea, 3rd French port, the port of Dunkirk stands out on many facets:

  • Europe's first passenger port (Calais-Dunkirk axe);
  • 1st French port complex (traffic of more than 90 MT in Calais-Dunkirk);
  • 1st French energy centre
  • 1st LNG terminal
  • 1st port of import of fruits and vegetables in containers
  • 1st French port for the import of minerals and coal
  • 1st French railway port
  • 1st regional waterway port
  • 3rd French port for cereal traffic.

The Dunkirk-Port is also a sustainable Port. The port of Dunkirk is the commercial port of the new Hauts de France region, the first French  agricultural region, the first region for the railway industry, the first region for the automotive industry.

Traffic 2016: 46.7 million tons.