Ports, activities and services

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At 329.6 MT (excluding bunkering and provisioning), global goods traffic through continental French ports in 2014 rose by 1.05% on the previous year (326.2 MT). 

The total level of traffic in 2014 was attributable to a 4.94% rise in container traffic to reach 4.4 million TEU, a sign of the positive effects of reform in the large seaports, especially Le Havre and Marseille. Bulk liquids fell by –1.69% as did dry bulk by –1.73%. 

Passenger traffic in continental France grew by 0.40% to a total of 28.9 million passengers. Cruise ships accounted for around 6 million passengers. 

In 2014 France's maritime policy for its ports continued to be based on three complementary pillars: 

  • reform of the autonomous seaports begun through legislation in 2008, which has transformed seven of them in continental France into Grands Ports Maritimes (Large Sea Ports); this process was completed in 2012 in the overseas departments with the creation on 1st January 2013 of the four Large Sea Ports of Guadeloupe, Guyane, La Réunion and Martinique, 
  • the transfer of port railways to the port authorities, which gives them more opportunity to expand into high volume freight transport and to develop short-haul port railway operators such as OFP Atlantique, 
  • government backing in the form of an investment programme for 2009–2013, which will continue over the period 2014–2020. 

The national strategy for French ports launched by the Ministry of Transport on May 24th 2013 is aimed at winning back market share. It is divided into three main components: logistics performance, support for industry and re-industrialisation, and sustainable development. It is in line with European policy on ports which acknowledges the role of the main French ports as nodal points and gateways to the trans-European transport networks. 

It is now a question of means... 

French commercial sea ports handle around 85% of France's external trade by volume and 66% by value. 

They can be divided into: 

  • ports operated by the State, with the eleven large sea ports in continental France and overseas, 
  • decentralised commercial ports and fishing ports: around forty ports under regional administrations (some since 1983, others since 2007), the great majority of which are operated by chambers of commerce. These ports handle 71.4 MT of goods, 22.3 million passengers and around 200,000 tonnes of fish products, 
  • autonomous ports in the Overseas Territories (Polynesia and New Caledonia). 

The authorities administering these ports are federated in the UPF (Union des Ports de France - see separate feature page 58) which represents them at national and European level. 

AIVP– Worldwide Network of Port Cities 


AIVP is the only international organisation that, for 25 years, has been bringing together all the development stakeholders in port cities. Today, the Association includes 185 ports, cities, businesses and public organisations in a network spanning 46 countries. AIVP is the privileged witness to the developments under way in the cities and ports all over the world. It supports their members in the implementation of new strategies that allow them to more effectively face up to the changes that impact economic, social and environmental development in port cities: urban-port integration, global reorganisation of economic routes, the challenge of societal integration, the climate change, the energy transition, the development of the cruise industry, etc. 

UPF - Union des Ports de France 


L'Union des Ports de France (UPF) is the trade association representing French port operators. 

Its 44 active members comprise the administering bodies of French commercial and fishing ports and some fish auction markets in continental France and the overseas departments and territories: Large Sea Ports, the ports of Paris and Strasbourg, chambers of commerce, semi-public companies and port operating companies. 

The Association has three missions: 

  • to represent French port establishments in labour negotiations in the sector in liaison with the UNIM (the French association of cargo handling companies and terminal operators) and the trade unions, mainly for negotiating the unified collective agreement for port workers and cargo handlers, 
  • to uphold the interests of French ports with French government authorities, European authorities and the media, particularly within the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), 
  • to operate networks for sharing good practice and exchanging experience in the various activities involved in port operation. 
  • Merged with the French Ports Development Association (ADPF) since 1st January 2013, the UPF has established three interchange forums: 
  • An interchange forum for port professionals bringing together the professionals involved in the development of port trade. 
  • An interchange forum for decentralised port authorities. 
  • An interchange forum for the Chairmen and Vice- Chairmen of the supervisory boards of Large Sea Ports. 

The advantages of French ports

An exceptional seaboard and an ideal position for providing rapid service to the greater part of Western Europe. 

A system of large sea ports centrally positioned in Europe, with now enough links to main roads, motorways and railways as well as to the main navigable waterways (Seine, Rhône). 

A network of decentralised ports which are valuable assets for promoting regional economic development and which complement the network of large sea ports; 

A strategic geographical position for handling the production and distribution of goods imported or exported by Europe: 

  • facing the Channel and North Sea, Le Havre is the gateway to the “Seine Axis” along with Rouen and Paris, thanks to the GIE HAROPA (an economic interest grouping of the Paris Seine-Normandy ports). With Dunkirk, it is one of the first large North European ports of call for imports, 
  • situated on the Atlantic seaboard, the large sea ports of Nantes - Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle and Bordeaux are the entry points for large international trade flows. These are now organised in a system of Atlantic inter-port cooperation. Brest also has this role of general cargo port while at the same time being the most important French site for civil ship repair, 
  • on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille-Fos, the largest port in France and indeed the Mediterranean, is situated at an important meeting point of trade routes and acts with Medlink as the gateway to the Mediterranean, 
  • France's overseas ports in the Indian Ocean, in Polynesia, in New-Caledonia, in the Caribbean and in South America are entry points into the EU aided by the overseas clusters being developed there: four of them, those in Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Réunion were transformed into Large Sea Ports (GPM) in 2013. 

Added to these advantages are: 

  • exceptionally good access enabling the ports to accommodate the largest vessels to serve the hubs, such as 18,000 TEU container ships, 400,000 tonne tankers and large LNG carriers of 270,000 m3 (QMax) as well as flagship cruise liners; 
  • high quality infrastructures, including berths and terminals, 
  • modern efficient equipment, 
  • reserves of land still available, 
  • areas reserved for storage and distribution logistics operations, 
  • an interconnection of regular shipping routes, short sea shipping and waterway services , 
  • efficient road and bulk transport services (rail, navigable waterways), 
  • dynamic port communities with enterprises providing efficient services for ships (piloting, towing and mooring) and the handling of goods, 
  • advanced computerised trading platforms within port communities, providing efficient high value-added logistics services, with e-customs services about to be introduced for each port, 
  • high standards of safety, security, sustainability and environmental protection. 

Several major projects are under way 

They encompass: 

  • extensions of capacity: completion of Port 2000 at Le Havre, completion of the new container terminals at Fos 2XL and a study for a gas terminal, a project to extend the port of Calais (Calais Port 2015) designed from a perspective of collaboration with the ports of the Nord-Pas de Calais Region, excavation of the Baltic and Pacific harbour basins at Dunkirk, deepening of the approach channel to Rouen over the 120 km distance from the mouth of the Seine to Rouen (scheduled for 2012-2016); at Nantes-Saint Nazaire, works to accommodate QMax (LNG) vessels, extension of the container terminal and preparation of marine renewable energy zones; the project to extend Port La Nouvelle; and the project at Brest to stabilise and extend the polder for the marine renewable energy industry coupled with the deepening of the access channels to the commercial port. 
  • the construction of new terminals, especially an LNG terminal at Dunkirk; construction of the new Grattequina terminal for aggregates and wind turbine traffic at Bordeaux; construction under way of the new Anse St-Marc 2 terminal beside the 35 ha site for La Repentie at La Rochelle. 
  • the development of new systems of organisation at port terminals to increase their productivity and make French ports more attractive to private operators and investors. 
  • the improvement of land links to high volume transport (rail and waterway): multimodal terminal and improved waterway access to Port 2000 at Le Havre, the combined transport terminal at Marseille, development of La Rochelle and Nantes port railway operator OFP Atlantique, cooperation between sea ports and inland ports;… 
  • continued development of the French marine renewable energy sector with offshore wind farms (at Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Nazaire, Bordeaux, Dunkirk and Brest); floating wind turbines (at Marseille, Brest and Saint-Nazaire); tidal turbines (at Cherbourg and Brest); river turbines (at Bordeaux); wave energy converters at Brest and ocean thermal energy conversion in the overseas ports. 
  • the development of short sea shipping routes and motorways of the sea. 
  • the development of synergies among industrial firms to ensure the long-term development of the VASCO project initiated by the Port of Marseille/ Fos to produce solutions for CO2 capture, storage and treatment through a programme of R&D. 
  • the creation of a single electronic portal to simplify and standardise all declaration procedures for ships in keeping with the Community directive now in its transposition phase and due to become effective on 1st January 2015. 

Grand Port Maritime Bordeaux 


Set on Europe’s largest estuary, the Atlantic Port of Bordeaux benefits from a prime location right on the Atlantic seaboard. At the gateway to Bordeaux, soon to be home to a million inhabitants, the Atlantic Port of Bordeaux is the focal point of a dense multimodal communication network offering a prime opportunity to reach out to a vast European market. 

Activities at the Port of Bordeaux take place at 7 specialized terminals and follow principles of sustainable development. 

With more than 500 hectares available for industry and logistics, the Atlantic Por t of Bordeaux offers economic stakeholders facilities directly next to its terminals. Generating more than 15,000 jobs in Aquitaine, the Port is sustained by a growth policy pursued in conjunction with its public and private partners. 

Grand Port Maritime Dunkerque 


Dunkerque is: 

  • 3rd port of France 
  • 1st european energy hub 
  • 1st french port for fresh produce imports by containers 
  • 1st largest rail freight hub in France 
  • 1st largest inland waterway port in Nord-Pas de Calais 

Located on the North Sea, just 90 minutes’ sailing time from the world’s busiest seaway (600 ships every day), the Port of Dunkirk offers excellent accessibility to shipping and has vast land reserves. 

Its facilities enable it to handle all types of cargo and accommodate the largest ships. 

The port extends along a frontage of 17 km and has two entries for shipping: to the east, which is accessible to ships with raughts of 14.2 metres (the Eastern Port), and the other to the west, which can accommodate ships with draughts of up to 22 metres (the Western Port). The port district covers 7,000 hectares and includes ten towns: Dunkirk, Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, Fort-Mardyck, Grande-Synthe, Mardyck, Loon-Plage, Gravelines, Craywick, Saint-Georges-sur-l’Aa and Bourbourg. 

Located 40 km from the English port of Dover, 10 km from the Belgian border, near the city of Lille and in the centre of the Brussels-London-Paris triangle, Dunkirk is the ideal platform for goods consolidation and redistribution in Europe 

Dunkerque-Port handled 43.57 million tonnes of traffic in 2013. 

Grand Port Maritime La Rochelle 


Single deep-water port on the French Atlantic shore, Atlantic Port La Rochelle is the 6th Great Maritime Port (“Grand Port Maritime”) of France with 5 terminals (242 ha of land surface) and 4,464 metres of berths connected to the rail network. Due to the presence of the islands of Ré and Oléron, it enjoys a safe and fast maritime access (45 minutes piloting). With a global traffic of 9,401,419 tons, Atlantic Port La Rochelle is the 1st French port for import of forest products and pulp and the 2nd for export of grains. 

Grand Port Maritime Le Havre 


Le Havre is the 2nd biggest French port with 67.5 million tonnes handled in 2014: 

  • #1 French port for external trade and container traffic (2.5 million TEU in 2014), 
    • elected “Best Green seaport in the world” (by Asian professionals, readers of Cargonews Asia newspaper), 
    • a partner in the EIG formed by the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, HAROPA, the 5th biggest North-European port complex, 
  • 2nd biggest French port for the crude oil supply of France, 
  • #1 French hub for import/export of new vehicles, development of the traffic of second-hand vehicles, 
  • around 6,000 calls in 2014, 
  • truly remarkable shipping conditions: accessible around the clock by the largest vessels in operation, 
  • a strategic location as the first main port of call in Northern Europe on import and the last one on export, 
  • a safe and secure port with the ISO 28000 certification of the Port Authority as regards security management and ISO 9001, 
  • around 32,000 port jobs. 

Development works: 

Through its strategic plan, the Port of Le Havre defines major development lines, such as containers, but also all activities in the other trades. It works to provide an adequate estate offer for the settlement of new logistics and industrial business and aims at significantly increase river and rail transport within the scope of a process of continuous improvement of the performance of port operation. This strategy of growth will be carried out while respecting the environmental functions of the Seine estuary. 

  • multimodal terminal: a tool for mass transport, coming-on-stream in June 2015, 
  • ro-ro terminal: 100 hectares available and possibility for extension over 20 hectares, 
  • Port 2000 Phase 3: 700 m of additional quay, launching of the call for expression of interest as well as for Asia and Osaka quays, 
  • storage of liquid bulks: Port of Le Havre has launched a new call for interest, 
  • project of direct river access to Port 2000: cooperative approach, 
  • construction project of new logistics warehouses: PLPN2 (76 hectares), PLPN3, Port 2000 and the ‘Parc Frigo’, 
  • wind energy offshore and associated activities. 


Grand Port Maritime Marseille-Fos 


Ideally situated on the northern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Marseille-Fos is the natural gateway to Southern Europe. The port of Marseille-Fos has become a major player in the Euro-Mediterranean zone because of its land and maritime infrastructures which allow it to accommodate the latest generation of ships and to follow market developments. 

The Port of Marseille, the largest port in France, in 2014 generated annual global traffic of 78.5 million tones in cargo. The steel industry, containerized goods, GNL and cruises (with 1,300,000 passengers) were the growth drivers of the port of Marseille Fos, these activities having increasing between 5 and 12% over the year. 

Activity linked to the Port of Marseille-Fos generates over 43,500 jobs in total, including 18,000 in the Marseille Provence Metropole area. 

The port complex extends over more than 10,000 hectares of land, listed as part of the public maritime domain, and is distributed over two geographical sites: 

  • the East Docks: Marseille, 
  • the West Docks: Fos, Lavéra, Caronte, Port Saint Louis du Rhône. 

With its strategic plan 2014-2018, the port of Marseille-Fos aims to increase its market share in all business segments to strengthen its leadership in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also pursuing diversification and energy transition in conjunction with regional policy to generate regional employment. 

Grand Port Maritime Nantes - Saint-Nazaire 


Nantes – Saint Nazaire ranks fourth among Metropolitan France's major seaport authorities and is the leading port on France's Atlantic Seaboard. The port facilities are located on the 65 kilometre long Loire Estuary, between Nantes and Saint Nazaire. Near of 3,000 calls, 1,200 merchant trains and about 240 transfers by river barges are made each year at the Nantes – Saint Nazaire Port Authority's facilities. 

The port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire generates nearly 25,000 jobs in the Grand Ouest area, including nearly 3,000 professionals employed in the "Grand Port Maritime" and the numerous ship and goods handling facilities (pilot services, tugs, line handling, cargo handling, warehousing, trading...). 

Already developed sites and those being developed for future activities represent a total surface area of 1,350 hectares. The port areas, including terminals, logistical facilities and industrial premises, are linked up to the national road and rail networks. An inland waterway link is already provided on the Loire Estuary for solid bulk cargo and industrial heavy-lift consignments. 

For import and export companies in the regions of Greater Western France, the Port of Nantes – Saint Nazaire provides doorstep services that serve to optimize supply and distribution chains. For all types of traffic, the Port proposes an added-value logistical service offer (notably warehousing, packing into bags and order preparation) and a statutory service offer (including customs, veterinary services and phytosanitary services). 

For container traffic, the Port has direct liner services to the West Indies and the West Coast of Africa. In addition, several feeder services connected to Northern Europe’s main transhipment hubs link the Port to over 400 ports on all five continents. Regular ro-ro services are also provided to and from Spain and Mediterranean Sea. 

Grand Port Maritime Guyane  


The Large Sea Port of French Guiana (Grand Port Maritime de Guyane), a port for Europe at the crossroads of the Americas, is a state-run public institution created on 1st January 2013 by the Law of February 2012 on port reform in the Overseas Territories. It is administered by a Board, which is the port authority’s executive body. Supplementing this governance is the Supervisory Board and the Development Board. Some fifty staff are employed in operating and promoting the port. 

The perimeter of the GPM-Guyane extends to the commercial port of Dégrad-des-Cannes (Rémire- Montjoly) and the port of Pariacabo (Kourou), which specialises in receiving components for the European spaceport (CNES-CSG). 

Handling more than 95% of the goods traffic of French Guiana, the GPM-Guyane is a major logistics facility of the Guyanese economy. Its strategic development has been mapped out in a 5-Year Plan (2014 - 2018) in keeping with the requirements of the laws on transport. This strategic plan has been approved by the Supervisory Board and aims to achieve “a sustained performance by the port to increase its economic and social competitiveness and promote the development of French Guiana”. 

Port de Bayonne 


The Port of Bayonne, 9th largest commercial port in France: 

Situated at the mouth of the River Adour, halfway between the ports of Bordeaux and Bilbao in the corner of the Bay of Biscay, the Port of Bayonne is ideally situated in relation to the main urban sites and busiest industrial areas in South West Europe. It is a major freight zone at the crossroads of the Spain-Toulouse-Bordeaux motorway network. 

The Port de Bayonne – some facts and figures: 

  • 9th busiest commercial port in France, 2nd busiest regional port after Calais (1st when passengers are excluded), 
  • annual traffic from 4 to 4.5 M tonnes (mostly bulk cargo), 
  • 2,000 ship movements per year, 
  • all areas have rail links: SNCF’s 5th largest port client, 
  • 3,500 jobs (direct and indirect), economic impact of E 530 M in Aquitaine. 

Port de Brest 


Leading port in Brittany, the port of Brest is managed by the Brest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was founded in 1851. 

The port handled more than 2.8 MT of cargo in 2014 via different terminals: general cargo, agri-bulk, multimodal, oil and gas… 

The port of Brest, which is ISO 14001 certified, is also a leading ship repair centre in France as well as a port of call for cruise ships. 

3 weekly feeders provide worldwide connections to the port. 

The por t possesses significant land reserves, including a reclaimed area of 42 hectares scheduled for major investments in connection with marine renewable energy. 

The port is linked to the railway to Paris as well as the European motorway network. 

Port de Calais 


Calais: 4th busiest port in France for cargo. 

 Located on the busiest straits in the world for international shipping, the Port of Calais alone handles 1/3 of all ro-ro traffic between continental Europe and the United Kingdom. 

The port of Calais offers 24/7 - 364/365 solutions and sees 50 departures per day. It provides high quality facilities suited to all types of traffic: Ro-Ro, bulk (import and export of industrial and quarry products), and specialised traffic (export of new cars, submarine cables and bagged sugar). 

Moreover, the port of Calais is a key logistics platform directly connected to the French and European motorways (A 16, A 26 for France and M 20, M2 for the United Kingdom). 

Port of Calais facts and figures: 

  • Continental Europe's leading port for rolling cargo, 
  • Leading port in France and 2nd busiest port in Europe for passengers, 
  • 4th busiest port in France for cargo, 

In 2013: 

  • 41.1 million tons of cargo, 
  • 10.3 million passengers, 
  • 1.6 million freight vehicles, 
  • between 3,000 and 7,000 trucks/day. 

Port de Sète, Sud de France 


The port of Sète, medium sized port but versatile is suitable for all kind of traffic and offers a complete multimodal connection for all operators. From Multi-bulk agri-business to the container through the Heavy-Lift, Livestock, Ro-Ro and passenger traffic, the Languedoc port is capable of responding to all requests with speed and reliability. In 2013, the port of Sète handled 3.4 million tons of cargo and welcomed 172,000 passengers, which puts it at the 9th place in all metropolitan ports. The significant investments and exemplary public/private partnerships that have been implemented so far with local players begin to make it attractive and competitive, prior to local and national economic development. 

Ports Normands Associés 


PNA is the authority, owner and manager of the ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg. With a traffic of nearly 5 million tons of goods and 1.5 million passengers, PNA has a leading position among French ports. 

In fact, PNA is the 11th largest commercial port complex in France. 

It sustains key economic activities in the territory with its 4,000 direct, indirect or resulting jobs and its € 180 M added value. 

The ports of Caen-Ouistreham & Cherbourg offer complementary assets: Caen-Ouistreham is a multipurpose regional port in the hinterland, while Cherbourg has a rare nautical feature at the heart of the Channel seaboard. 

A wide range of activities -such as bulk, yachting, fishing, cross-Channel traffic, sailing, shipbuilding and repair, seafood processing, industry- lean on port infrastructures in order to develop their activities. PNA’s vocation is to provide all these industries favourable infrastructures and environment for their development. 

Particularly involved in the Marine Renewable Energies, PNA has been investing more than € 100 million to welcome the activities linked with this promising MRE sector. 

Ports Toulon Provence

This young Port Authority based in Toulon manages 18 ports in the Toulon urban area, from the Iles d’Or to the Embiez archipelago, with 6,000 yachting berths. 

The commercial and industrial installations, in a deep water bay allowing access to the biggest ships, are well protected by an exceptional geographical position and their proximity with the military infrastructures of Toulon’s naval base. 

In addition to a very tight knit port community Ports Toulon Provence, base for the Pole Mer Mediterranee and the Riviera Yachting Network can boost an annual turnover of E 200 M and 2000 direct jobs. One of the current development areas for Ports Toulon Provence is the superyacht sector, with winter lay-up, maintenance, and refit facilities (185 superyacht calls in 2013). 

Toulon is the leading ferry port for Corsica (1.2 M pax pa) and has confirmed its position as the third French cruise port (540,000 pax in 2013). The port is also home for the only non-subventioned “Motorway of the Sea”. This “Autortoute de la Mer” links Pendik to the Bregaillon port area which has recently renewed its stevedoring facilities. 

Marine Works and Port Facilities



Artelia is an independent engineering, project management and consulting group that operates in the following nine markets: building construction, water, energy, environment, industry, maritime, multi-site projects, transportation and urban development. In 2014, the group’s consolidated turnover amounted to E 366 million. The share of turnover related to international business is 30% with subsidiaries in 37 countries. 

Maritime and port activities represent a significant part of Artelia’s turnover. For many years, Artelia Maritime has been ranked as one of the world’s leading consultants in this field of studies by the Engineering News-Record. Artelia Maritime can no doubt claim to be the only maritime consultant to possess a unique range of facilities to support its project teams: a numerical modelling unit focusing mainly on hydrodynamics, a world-renowned physical modelling laboratory, a navigation simulator and a shiphandling training centre (Port Revel). Artelia provides services to private clients (industrial groups, building contractors, operators, etc.) as well as to public clients. 

Artelia is certified ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 8001. 

Bouygues Travaux Publics 


With constant growth in global trade, the demand for harbor and coastal infrastructures – an essential need for import and export businesses – is sustained. Bouygues Travaux Publics has therefore developed over several decades specific expertise as a builder of large infrastructures in marine environment: harbors, rivers undercrossing, bridges. The company also possesses know-how regarding river dams and development of inland waterways. Landmark projects in the domain include the Chatou dam (France), ports in Monaco, Pusan (Korea), Tangiers (Morocco), Caucedo (Dominican Republic), Beyrouth seafront development (Lebanon), N’Kossa barge (Congo), the Hong Kong Zuhai Macao Bridge (HK) or New Tyne Crossing (UK). 






A subsidiary of VINCI Construction France, EMCC is the leading company in France for marine and fluvial construction works. Its experienced male and female staff share a culture which embraces safety, exacting standards, environmental performance and innovation. 

EMCC is a specialist in marine, port and fluvial structures, dredging, rock excavation, underwater works and the treatment of sludge and sediment. 

The expertise of its engineering office and its integrated methods enable it to meet every challenge worldwide using the best technical options. 

Its extensive fleet of machinery gives the company the capability to adapt to the particular requirements of each site and to fully respond to the needs of each customer. 

ETMF - Eiffage Travaux Maritimes et Fluviaux 


FRABELTRA is now ETMF (EIFFAGE TRAVAUX MARITIMES ET FLUVIAUX) and continues to work in multiple fields, such as dock construction, bank protection operations (sheet piling, retaining walls, riprap, etc.), flood barriers, dolphins, dams and locks, piers, fish passes, RORO bridges, boat ramps and docks, solid and pile wharfs, strengthening of the foundations of artworks, dredging, sludge, sheetpile driving, underwater network crossings and sea outfalls with stronger human, material, commercial and scientific resources thanks to the new ties with ETMF. 

ETMF is able to fully design and carry out all of these operations, and works for well-known clients such as major seapor ts, VNF, and departmental and regional ports, and also for private clients in the grain, oil and transport industries in both river and sea environments. 

Thanks to its facilities, ETMF has a strong national presence, but is also nurturing its international ambitions through collaborations with other branches of the group. 



4th construction & civil engineering trades group in France and the leading independent Group, Fayat has been operating in underwater works for over 30 years. FTSM (Fayat Travaux Sous-Marins), one of its subsidiaries, offers services for excavating works on shallow-water fields down to 100m depth and develops technology for deep sea mining projects. 


SDI‑ Société de Dragage International 


SDI is a marine and waterways contractor active all over France. 

SDI realizes very diverse projects, varying from maintenance dredging works in the ports of Bayonne, Gravelines, La Réunion or on the Gironde river, to beach replenishment works in Pyla, or more specific dredging works as the realization of the foundations for the Bacalan Bastide bridge in Bordeaux or the dike consolidation works for the Nice airport. After having realized the first phase of the deepening of the Seine river, SDI is now executing the second phase for the account of the port of Rouen. 

The SDI fleet worked all over the world for the account of its sister companies: from the Persian Gulf to Panama and Europe. In 2013, SDI realized a turnover of E 53 M and employed about 100 staff and crew. 

Port activities and services

Chambre Nationale des Courtiers Maritimes de France

The National Chamber of Maritime Brokers of France (customs house shipbrokers), formerly “Courtiers Maritimes Interprètes & Conducteurs de Navires”, act for ship-owners or their agents and handle the customs formalities (ship’s clearance) required from ships entering French ports. 

Delom Portuaire 


Heir to the ship operating business, it has been a specialist since 1987 in port activities in the port of Sète. It is especially active in cargo handling operations and the transit of goods vehicles, containers, live animals and heavy lifts. Delom Portuaire also operates as a freight forwarder and charter broker. 



Econavia-CEP has been successfully addressing the issues specific to port management for more than 20 years. In close partnership with local authorities, it implements tailored operational solutions and proactively helps to develop the economic and tourism potential of ports. It also works alongside the private sector in providing the industry with specialist expertise in shipping-related logistics and ecology issues. 

French Federation of Maritime Pilots 


A major player in the field of maritime safety on the seven seas, French maritime pilots safely conduct inbound and outbound ships through inshore waters ensuring safe ship handling, coastal environmental protection and economic efficiency on ship movements in French ports. 

338 pilots, more than 100,000 operations per year, 31 pilot stations, 3 helicopters and over a hundred pilots cutters. 



Groupe LHD


Group LHD is in charge of mooring operations for vessel who call at the port of Nantes Saint Nazaire. It also provides other maritime services such as crew transfer, logistic (receipt of goods, storage under custom controlled warehouse, delivery by vessel or truck), personnel hire, chartering of nautical equipment, provision of nautical equipment to achieve marine works. 

Group LHD is available for its customers 24h/24 and 365 days/year 

Schneider Electric 


Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. In 2014, the company has a revenue of E 25 billion with 170,000 employees in over 100 countries. 

With more than 90 years' experience in the maritime industries and over 5,000 vessels equipped, Schneider Electric has a broad range of solutions for vessels electrical distribution, automation, electrical propulsion and secure power. Schneider Electric is also the leader in shore connection technology, to plug ships at berth into the grid. 

SDLP- Société du Dépôt de La Pallice

SDLP is jointly owned by SPD - Société Pétrolière de Dépôts / Socatra Group (48%), Total France (34%) and Bolloré Energie (18%). The facility covering 12 ha is located on the French Atlantic Coast, within the harbour zone of La Rochelle, for a total capacity of 245,000 cu.m. 



SOGET provides fluidity to port operations, by coordinating intelligent, instant and shared management of logistics information between public and private stakeholders.  

As partner and facilitator of Port Communities, SOGET offers innovative turnkey solutions, by combining expertise in business processes, technological excellence and proximity with its clients and partners. 

Headquartered in Le Havre since 1983, SOGET is the leading operator in France and Africa, and aims to become the global leader and a reference for single window systems. 

A founding member of the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) and of the SEFACIL Foundation, SOGET acts as an expert consultant to many international organizations. 

In 2015, SOGET launches S)ONE, the next-gen single window. 

Syndicat Professionnel du Lamanage 


In France, Boatage companies are grouped in a trade union, the SPLMNA (Boatage Professional Association of the English Channel, North Sea and Atlantic ports). 

Exchanges are permanent and shared experiences for the development of different structures. Approximately 300 boatmen plying their trade across the Atlantic coast to the North Sea. 

The mooring is an activity that requires control and precision. The evolution with the launchs from the ship, tugs and dock can be dangerous depending on water and weather conditions encountered. 

UNIM - Union Nationale des Industries de la Manutention dans les ports français 


UNIM is the French association of cargo handling companies and terminal operators located in all French seaports. Its member companies are responsible for operating terminal loading and unloading facilities such as container cranes, gantries and all other equipment required at terminals (straddle carriers, forklifts…). 

They employ dock workers as permanent salaried company employees on long-term contracts. 

UMPF - Union Maritime et Portuaire de France

The Maritime and Port Union of France – UMPF – is an association under the 1901 Act and was established on the 8th of April 2004. Its objective is to unite professional bodies such as the Maritime Unions of French ports, to give them greater clout in representing and standing up for the interests of these ports and their professional communities at national level. 

Worms Services Maritimes 


In France, WORMS has offices in 10 ports, and a total workforce of 100 people, including 20 in Le Havre and 50 in Marseilles. Every year they act as agents for more than 1,000 general cargo vessels, which makes them one of the largest independent shipping agents in France. 

Representing several shipping lines serving all 5 continents, the Worms Shipping Agency network can handle all types of cargo (containers, Ro-Ro, conventional etc.).