When storage charges at Le Havre become prohibitive, the solution is to quickly transfer shipments via the FFA river shuttle for storage in Rouen. The FFA inland terminal enjoys a strategic location on the banks of the Seine close to both the A13 and A29 autoroutes and an industrial hinterland. It has today become a key partner for shippers/consignees, shipping companies and forwarders alike.
“The lack of transport capacity is going to increase with the boom in online commerce, so we need to come up with different transport solutions. And we need to offer other, innovative services. To this end, we have already factored in present requirements and are anticipating those of tomorrow,” explains Xavier Rose.
FFA now offers a combined transport and logistics solution via its terminal. Once the traffics have been identified, clients benefit from the “GatePriority” system for their import consignments. The list of containers is sent to FFA’s subsidiary SOMAP on the day prior to arrival so the containers can be loaded directly onto skeletals. Contrary to booking systems in other ports, GatePriority provides for a pre-set frequency.
Simplifying customs procedures for clients will be the next step for FFA, with the introduction of a temporary storage facility (TSF) at the Rouen terminal. Another major asset will be the terminal’s upper-tier Seveso classification, for which application is currently underway, allowing the on-site storage of dangerous goods For example, due to a lack of adequate storage facilities nearby, the Rouen-based lubricant additives company Lubrizol France ships via Antwerp. From now on, FFA will be able to provide a turnkey solution combining onward river transport from Le Havre and short-term storage on its Seveso site in Rouen.
“We have to act as an integrator for our clients’ logistics needs, while bringing added value to the entire chain. The terminal must evolve into a smart terminal if we are to stand out against the other terminals on the Seine corridor,” insists Rose. To this end, FFA is currently in negotiations with rail operators for a new rail shuttle service between Rouen and Paris Valenton/Bonneuil beginning in 2019. The service, initially weekly, will carry both containers and swap bodies (100TEU) on trains of around 850m in length, opening up new possibilities, including potential connections to the South of France, Germany and Italy.