It’s a pure golden gift from Geneva that could allow France’s leading port to finally regain ground lost to its formidable rivals in northern Europe. Visiting Le Havre this Friday (July 8), the directors of Til -Terminal Investment Limited- confirmed their intention to invest 700 million euros to triple the capacity of their Port 2000 container terminals. The news was officially announced in front of the new Minister of Environmental Transition, Christophe Bechu, a close friend Edouard Philippe. Who didn’t hesitate to talk about ” historical announcement “.
It must be said that Thiel is not just anyone. Armed with the world’s No. 1 container shipping company MSC, the company operates around forty port terminals in 27 countries and on 5 continents. In December last year, it acquired half of the berths in the deep-water port of Le Havre. Committed to bringing them up to the highest standards, he shows iron confidence in the potential of the Le Havre market, which is seen as ” the gateway to Europe “. ” Le Havre must regain its place among the thirty best ports in the world (Today’s 56th Editor’s Note),” said Ammar Kanaan, Managing Director of Til.
The interested party does not hide this. If his company spends (very) heavily, it is to be able to load and unload in optimal conditions the huge ships of 24,000 “boxes”, which MSC buys at the rate of several dozen each year. The goal: to process up to 4.5 million containers each year. This is 1.5 million more than the cargo turnover of the port of Normandy today. ” We want our container ships to stop at Le Havre before Rotterdam and Antwerp, which is on the verge of saturation – said David El-Bez, director of investments.
Dockers say banko
The voluntarism of the Swiss leaders clearly convinced the representatives of the dockers, who are not particularly known for their conciliatory nature. Thiel signed a productivity deal with them against a promise to hire 1,100 people (including 900 dockers) over the next six years. He also pledged not to automate the tools, which would be seen as a red flag by the profession. ” They joined the project first because they love their work – says David El-Bez. We will not know more about the exact terms of the said agreement, except that it was decisive. ” If we could not come to an understanding, we would not have invested here. – says his boss.
Nevertheless, he hopes for some compensation from the French state, which is expected ” development new rail and water connections – said Ammar Kanaan. In this exercise, he should be able to rely on the interpersonal skills of Edward Philip. The mayor of Le Havre actually believes that the confidence shown by MSC should encourage Matignon to put the turbo on. ” Decisions are made more urgently “, he insisted on Friday before the Minister of Ecological Transition. Apparently, the message was received 5 out of 5.” France must invest in modal shifts to decarbonize freight transport “, – answered Christophe Bechu.
At Haropa, the institution that manages the ports of the Seine, we look for another hope. The fanfare arrival of the world’s leading shipowner is prompting its French rival CMA CGM to upgrade its 2,000-port terminals in turn, which are operated by subsidiary Générale de Manutention Portuaire. Emulation, which David El Bez also calls for. ” The more we bet on Le Havre, the more the government will be forced to invest in port infrastructure. “, he says with a smile. On good terms.