Dunkerque 2022 traffic figures boosted by growth in LNG and containers


Port of Dunkerque (aka Dunkirk) presented mixed traffic results for 2022 at a press conference held yesterday, with throughput up slightly by 1.5% year-on-year to 49m tonnes.

Results were broadly similar to 2021 and still short of pre-pandemic levels, port officials admitted, with the effect of Brexit still continuing to depress cross-Channel RoRo traffic which was down 13% to 11.9m tonnes.

Dry bulk traffic, traditionally another staple of the port, was also down 18% to 16.2m tonnes, mainly due to the cessation of Seabulk activities at the port’s West Bulk Commodity Terminal at end-2021 and reduced iron ore imports on account of the depressed state of France’s steel industry.

At the same time, however, container volumes were up 14% to a record 745,000 TEU, with Dunkerque having enjoyed 10 years of consecutive growth and now having the largest transhipment share of any French port. The Dunkerque Inernational Logistics Zone (DLI) was also inaugurated by the French Transport Minister in November 2022.

Also, reduced oil imports last year on account of the geopolitical crisis involving Russia were more than offset by ‘explosive growth’ in LNG imports, which were up 133% y-o-y – and 220% in H2 alone – to 9.7m tonnes, with the port’s LNG terminals now nearing their capacity.

All in all, Dunkerque officials drew encouragement from the fact that the port is transitioning well to becoming a truly multipurpose port with a healthy diversity of different types of cargo and bright future.