Amid social unrest, river transport shows its advantages.

Once again, river transport has shown its appropriateness. While the ports were heavily impacted by the strikes over the recent law on extending retirement age, Marfret and its FFA subsidiary were working flat out to evacuate goods stuck at Le Havre.

While all road access to the Le Havre terminals was closed, our FFA subsidiary’s Lydia was able to evacuate 300 TEUs to the port of Rouen at each port call. This river-ocean vessel does not have to negotiate any locks on the Seine between Le Havre and Rouen, a huge advantage when lockkeepers are on strike.

We witnessed a substantial increase in volumes on the Lydia and the arrival of a new clientele realizing the efficiency of this massified and environmentally friendly solution for their pre- and post-carriage requirements.

The mobilization and responsiveness of our teams also allowed the Marfret Niolon to call at Rouen on 21st March last instead of Le Havre, which meant cargo arriving from the West Indies and French Guiana could be dispatched on barges to the Paris area.

It is worth reminding that Marfret offers 14 days free time at it Rouen hub, against only four provided by Le Havre.

Together, through their efforts, Marfret and its FFA branch have demonstrated both the outstanding success of the river alternative from Le Havre and the need to enhance the visibility of Rouen Vallée de Seine. It is a virtuous model, and guaranteeing its continued existence is vital without waiting for road transport to grind to a halt once again.