01 Jan 2016

Barge line established in France

Weekly round trip between Dunkirk and Valenciennes

In France, the percentage share of inland waterway transports in total transportation is relatively low compared with its neighbouring countries. One exception is the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, where barge transport gained another 6.5 percent in terms of total transport volume in 2015. This trend will certainly be further strengthened by a new barge line started by Contargo between Dunkerque (Dunkirk) and Valenciennes.

In November 2015 Contargo started a trial run for the new container shuttle between the inland port of Valenciennes and the seaport of Dunkerque. The scheduled line of Contargo North France departs weekly on Wednesday from Dunkerque and sets out from Valenciennes on the return journey every Thursday. Departure times are coordinated with the processing times for Asian transports in Dunkerque.

"Solving the problem of additional handling costs for barges in the seaport was a precondition for the Contargo Group to commit itself in Dunkirk", says Gilbert Bredel, Managing Director of Contargo North France. "Thus with the new Dunkerque – Valenciennes service, we are now in a position to help make the international Port of Dunkerque even more attractive for container transport.”

By introducing this regular barge line Contargo North France has gained a new customer: the French mail order company La Redoute, which will be transporting 2,000 TEU per year between Dunkirk and Valenciennes on the barge “Titan”. Christopher Leroy, head of La Redoute’s import and export department, says: “We have chosen inland waterway transport because it guarantees the transport of large volumes, is more environmentally friendly thanks to its lower CO2 emissions, and ensures flexibility.”

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