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Letter to shippers

Letter to shippers from Terminal des Flandres.

Dear Partners,

The year 2020 has been an eventful one for all of us. Lack of visibility, unprecedented jolts in sales or productivity cycles, everyone had to deal with exceptional situations. Terminal des Flandres was able to maintain a constant quality of service in 2020 and to serve you in all circumstances. You could count on our reliability. Our teams and dockworkers have distinguished themselves and have been at your side at all times, including in January when part of France was paralysed, in March when containment put the brakes on the economy, and in December when storms and congestion in England disrupted shipowners' schedules.

This year, thanks to you and the shipping companies, Terminal des Flandres was nevertheless able to continue its development. On maritime movements (vessels), annual growth was +5.5% and +8.8% in EVP (higher proportion of 40'). Although the halt was significant after the first containment, the recovery was sustained throughout the second half of the year, thanks in particular to trade with Latin America/Caribbean and Asia.

L'AUTF's praise is a welcome reward for our efforts and encourages us to be even more attentive and at your service in 2021. We thank you for your trust and will continue to do our best to develop Dunkirk and the French economy.

2020 has been a succession of small steps :

  • January: inauguration of the quayside connection (cold ironing),
  • April-May: reception and commisionning in full confinement of 2 new Megamax gantry cranes dimensioned for the largest vessels in the industry. An investment of 16 M€ which boosts the efficiency of the terminal.
  • May: Start of the calls of the Ocean Alliance FAL 1 (CMA CGM - Evergreen - Cosco - OOCL),
  • October: start of a Short Sea containerized line to Ireland by Containerships, an alternative or complement to ferry traffic for shippers.
  • December: 1st French call of a large LNG vessel, the CMA CGM Champs Elysées. Its 9 sisterships, including the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé, will regularly call at Dunkirk.
  • December: announcement of the launch in January 2021 of a new Containerships line to Liverpool and Bristol, a complementary solution to the ferry at the time of the Brexit.


2020 is an important year in terms of special cargo & heavy lift cargoes. This traffic, to which Terminal Flanders pays special attention, is important for our regional industry and we strongly believe that the use of container ships for these special cargoes is often very relevant.

On the other hand, intermodal traffic has faced more difficulties in 2020. Despite the continued efforts of Nord Port Shuttle and Novatrans / Greenmodal, barge and rail traffic has declined. However, we must all together develop this mass transportation to participate in a virtuous logistics chain. The deployment of more environmentally friendly trucks, which we applaud, will hopefully increase in 2021. The most environmentally friendly shippers will be able to combine transport on LNG ships for the ocean part with intermodal means of transport on the land segment. This is a new step for virtuous shipping.

Motor carriers have played a major role this year. There were unprecedented maritime peaks, sometimes doubling transit times, and we are working on ways to improve them. By choosing Terminal des Flandres, you reduce the carbon impact of transport and you contribute directly to the development of the economy of rhe North of France. In fact, each new 150 TEU of sustainable traffic generates job creation in France. Your participation counts.

Thanks to your additional traffic, we expect new recruits at Terminal des Flandres in 2021 as well as the continuation of our investment program. We have therefore decided to continue with a strong sense of confidence and optimism. Once again this year, we will choose daring rather than prudence. Quality of service rather than short-term profitability.

New logistics facilities (dry or temperature-controlled) will enable you to use the port's full potential. The carriers have also continued to invest in order to meet your expectations.

Continue to trust us and to develop your port! Each container is important for our ecosystem. We remain at your disposal.

Terminal des Flandres wishes you an excellent year 2021.


Marc Riondel - Managing Director