Despite the context and confinement, HAROPA ports remain 100% operational to supply the country and meet export needs, thanks to the efforts made by all players in the supply chain (ship services, handlers, logisticians, carriers) to ensure continuity of service.
These first-quarter results, which reflect the initial impacts of the overall slowdown in the global economy, include very contrasting situations across the various sectors:
- The Covid-19 effect is beginning to be felt in the Container industry;
- The temporary limitation of refining capacity is impacting the liquid bulk sector;
- Record exports of cereals are boosting the solid bulk sector.
The Covid-19 effect began to be felt in the Container sector from mid-March: traffic was 530 000 TEUs, down 23%, with 156 stopovers by container ships in March 2020, i.e. 16 fewer than in March 2019.
The effect of the slowdown in maritime traffic from Asia due to Covid-19 has been felt mainly from the second half of March. The effects of the pandemic-related economic crisis are now also being seen through a slowdown in global consumption and European exports, which will have a significant impact on container and ro-ro traffic for import and export in April.
River traffic in containers on the Seine axis decreased by the equivalent of 13.5% at the end of March.
The temporary limitation on refining capacity is impacting the liquid bulk sector, down 16% to 10.48 Mt.
This trend was expected because refining capacity has been circumstantially slowed by unintended technical shutdowns, notably that related to the December fire at the Normandy refinery, in addition to the technical shutdown of the Gandpuits refinery in Seine et Marne (whose activity will not resume until the end of the confinement). The impacts of the health crisis on consumption of refined products are likely to be felt on traffic in the coming weeks.