Swissterminal takes over three French ports

Swissterminal Swissterminal will take over operations of the Alsatian ports of Ottmarsheim, Huningue-Village-Neuf and Ile Napoléon. Photo: Swissterminal

Swissterminal Group has won an international tender to operate three French inland ports with the aim of increase logistics capacities in the Border Triangle region.

Switzerland-based integrated logistics operator Swissterminal will take over operations of the Alsatian ports of Ottmarsheim, Huningue-Village-Neuf and Ile Napoléon in the course of 2021. Swissterminal has formed Alsaceterminal to operate the ports.

Roman Mayer, chairman of the board of directors at Swissterminal, commented: “We are delighted to have won the tender for operating the ports of Huningue-Village-Neuf, Ile Napoléon and Ottmarsheim. Much to our disappointment, we will not be able to expand our activities in the Port of Switzerland (Schweizerische Rheinhäfen). However, with Euro Rhine Ports and the port operation by Alsaceterminal, we now have the solution and are able to grow our terminal network.”

He added: “Our goal is to significantly increase the utilisation and efficiency of the three Alsatian ports to offer the industry additional opportunities and to meet future market needs. The Huningue-Village-Neuf, Ile Napoléon and Ottmarsheim sites will be integrated into the existing network of Swissterminal and our partner DP World and tremendously improve transport connections in this part of Europe.”

Alsaceteam JV

As legal and supporting structure behind Swissterminal’s new activities in France serves a newly established company called Alsaceteam, a joint venture between Swissterminal and the French ports of Le Havre and Marseille-Fos.

As part of this public-private partnership, Alsaceteam will take 39% equity in Euro Rhine Ports, the successor of the former publicly owned port company Ports de Mulhouse Rhin. Euro Rhine Ports is the new concessionaire of the ports of Ottmarsheim, Huningue-Village-Neuf and Ile Napoléon.

The annual capacity of the trimodal container port Ottmarsheim  is currently approximately 200,000 TEU.

In addition to direct shipping to Rotterdam and Antwerp, the port will benefit from direct rail connections to Le Havre and Marseille as well as links via Birsfelden (Switzerland) to Genoa (Italy) and China.

The current bulk-goods port in Huningue-Village-Neuf, also located on the Rhine river and about 35 km southeast of Mulhouse, will be developed into a trimodal transhipment centre (rail/barge/truck) for container traffic with Switzerland by 2025. The terminal directly borders Basel (Switzerland) and Weil am Rhein (Germany). In the first construction phase, 240 m of quay length and over 2 hectares of container yard will be added. A further 160 m quay length and an additional 1.5 hectares of container space are planned. The goal is to achieve an annucapacity of more than 100,00 TEU.

Huningue-Village-Neuf will replace Swissterminal’s existing container handling facilities in Basel-Kleinhueningen.

The third port site in the Ile Napoléon industrial zone is just outside Mulhouse city limits on the Rhine-Rhône Canal. It will continue to serve for conventional cargo handling of bulk goods and fuels.


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