The Seine, opening of Paris to the sea

A major traffic area between Le Havre and Paris

Since 1er June, the three most important ports of the Seine, Paris, Rouen and Le Havre, joined together in a single establishment, Haropa Port, which became the fifth North European port complex. The objective is to form a port system with a European dimension in the field of industry, logistics and tourism. Many logistics sites are under development, particularly near the port of Le Havre, in Rouen, or even in the port of Limay, where Ikea will build a major logistics center.

A position to defend in a competitive regional context

The port of Le Havre has difficulty staying competitive with the large North European ports, especially since the transfer of goods by rail and river transport needs to be improved. The construction of the Seine-Nord canal, making it possible to connect the port of Antwerp directly to the basin of the Paris region, raises fears of bypassing the valley of the Seine and Haropa Port, to the benefit of the Flemish ports. One of the responses is the merger of the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris into a single entity.

Read also Paris-Le Havre. And in the middle flows the Seine …

Benefiting from an investment program of 1,450 billion euros over five years, Haropa Port generates maritime and river traffic of over 130 million tonnes, and its activities represent around 160,000 jobs. Its officials hope that the Seine’s river transport capacity will triple. The rail, passenger and freight network is saturated. The electrification of the Serqueux-Gisors section should make it possible to increase freight capacities, pending the new Paris-Normandy line project. The first section was not to be completed before 2035, long deadlines that raise concerns about the effective completion of the project.

Map produced with the help of Arnaud Brennetot,
professor of geography at the University of Rouen

Sources: Atlas of the Seine Valley, Arnaud Brennetot,
editions Autrement; Insee; Seine-Normandy logistics; Haropa;
Center for Eurasian Maritime & Inland Logistics.

File produced in partnership with the International Forum of Positive Cities and Territories LH Forum, in Le Havre (Seine-maritime).

LH Forum, the program

The 2021 edition of the LH Forum, of which “Le Monde” is a partner, will take place on September 23 and 24 in Le Havre, au Volcan (8, place Niemeyer). Renamed this year LH2O Forum, it is dedicated to “the future of the blue planet”. Thursday’s debates will revolve around the maritime economy and its challenges, with Jacques Attali and Edouard Philippe, also co-inventors of the event, but also, among others, Lamya Essemlali (Sea Shepherd France), the explorer Jean-Louis Etienne, the navigator and MEP Catherine Chabaud, and Annick Girardin, Minister of the Sea. Friday will be dedicated to the “Seine axis”, with in particular Stéphane Raison (Haropa Port), Anne Hidalgo and Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol (mayors of Paris and Rouen), Arnaud Leroy (Ademe), Bruno the Mayor (Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery).

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