Port of Dunkirk posts strong 2021 traffic figures

At a hybrid press conference held today Port of Dunkirk officials reported that 2021 had been a good year for the port despite the continuing public health crisis, overall traffic rising 8% over 2020 to 48.6m tonnes.

Container volumes showed the greatest improvement, increasing 41% year-on-year to 652,000 TEU with Dunkirk fast becoming one of the country’s leading transhipment ports. This traffic is set to grow further with a Logistics Park at the port now under development, with 80% of warehousing space now pre-booked.

Energy transition also accounted for another of the port’s fastest growing cargoes, LNG, which rose 17% to 4.1 m tonnes, aided by a more favourable arbitrage market in Europe compared to Asia, while coal volumes dipped 1%.

Safety and security measures at the port are paramount, pointed out officials, since the port is located next to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and initiatives to tackle human and drug trafficking are ongoing.

Cross-channel ro-ro traffic from the UK was down 15% to 517,000 freight units, with passenger traffic continuing to be almost non-existant, but after cdommencement of a direct link from Rosslare in Ireland at the beginning of 2021 following the implementation of Brexit, Dunkirk managed to capture 53,000 fright units on that route, which it estimates as a one-third market share of trucks previously using the ‘UK landbridge’ route involving ferry crossings of the Irish Sea and short straits from Dover plus UK road network in between.