Contargo consolidates its position in France

Last year, despite a strongly subdued market in the seaports, Contargo recorded a slight increase in the numbers of containers transported in the river basin areas of northern France.

In the Port of Valenciennes, Contargo North France consolidated its position as leading inland port for sea freight containers in the Hauts-de-France region. In Alsace, Contargo Sàrl expanded its rail connections, thus enlarging its multi-modal transport offer.

Last year, Contargo and its predecessor CCS – Combined Container Service – celebrated 40 years of presence in France. Ever since 1983 the enterprise in Alsace has been expanding its offer of multi-modal container transports by barge and rail between the Upper Rhine and the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Many developments contributed to last year’s positive results. At the end of 2023 Contargo Süd, a combination of three Contargo companies in the border triangle increased the frequency of the Basel-West-port Shuttle rail connection, linking the inland port in Weil am Rhein with Rotterdam/Antwerp, to five round trips per week.

In 2023 Contargo North France enlarged its offer of container barge transport services in the river system of the Hauts-de-France region in northern France. Not only has the enterprise started a new container barge line with two round trips per week between the seaports of Antwerp and Rotterdam and the multimodal terminal in Dourges, south of Lille, it has also put a third large vessel into operation.

This has resulted in an increase of 1.5% in the volume transported by Contargo North France in 2023 compared to 2022. In this way the terminal of the Valenciennes ports, operated by Contargo, has consolidated its position as the regional hub for inland waterway container transport and remains the most important terminal in France to be operated by a purely private enterprise.

“In 2024 our investment efforts will be directed primarily towards the decarbonisation of our transport activities,” said Gilbert Bredel, managing director of Contargo North France. “After we have converted our barges to GTL, we will encourage our transport partners to switch their vehicles fleet to trucks that run on bio fuels or recycled fuels. In the near future our group will also be purchasing electric trucks to operate on the highways of France.”

On the strength of these good results, Contargo said it plans to extend its business to waterway systems in other regions of France.