MSC buys Le Havre terminals and expand into top EU port
THE Italian-Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is acquiring sole ownership of two Le Havre container terminals make them into a port to rival the biggest on the European Northern Range, reports Fort Lauderdale’s Maritime Executive.
Yard capacity will be tripled, MSC says. Vessel handling capabilities will also be expanded to accommodate 24,000-TEU vessels.
Geneva-based MSC, now rated as the world’s biggest container carrier, will spend millions over the next six years to expand the container handling capabilities of the port so it aligns with the company’s fleet expansion.
Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), an MSC subsidiary that owns and operates terminals worldwide, announced that it has become the sole owner of both the larger TNMSC, which was started a decade ago as a joint venture between MSC and Terminaux de Normandie, and the adjacent Terminal Porte Oceane (TPO) which had been owned with Ocean Terminal.
The change of ownership clears the way for MSC to make a US$700 million investment in the terminals.
The TNMSC terminal, which has been MSC’s gateway at the port is currently capable of handling 1.5 million TEU annually with 4,600 feet of dock for four berths able to handle vessels with a capacity of up to 20,000 TEU.
The facility covers 175 acres. Adjacent to it is the smaller TPO terminal that can handle two ultra-large containerships and move 550,000 TEU annually. There is also a third container terminal at Le Havre, operated by DP World.
Last year, Le Havre handled nearly 2.8 million TEU which was up more than 15 per cent over 2020. According to port officials, the port is ideally positioned to serve as a primary facility in northern Europe as well as a location for transshipment operations to areas such as Ireland.
“The ambitious modernisation plans are the result of a historic agreement between the Dockers Workers’ Union of the Port of Le Havre CGT, TiL, and the TPO/TNMSC terminals,” said Haropa Port which manages the French port.
Le Havre is the tenth largest port in Europe and with both Rotterdam and Antwerp running out of yard capacity and reporting backlogs the expansion is well-timed to support MSC’s future growth.
MSC has entered into long-term agreements with the terminals for container volumes to be handled at the port. TiL said it will prepare for the increased volumes by doubling the number of ship-to-shore gantry cranes, increasing it to 20. They plan to place the order for the first nine cranes in the near future. They also plan to install fleet gantries at all six berths.