On July 12th, our teams had the pleasure to meet Mr. Marc RIONDEL – Managing Director of the Terminal des Flandres.An opportunity to discuss the latest news of Terminal des Flandres, the first container operator in Dunkirk. Located in the North of France, the port of Dunkirk is surrounded by the largest European cities and is Europe's leading industrial port zone. A structure that is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
PRESENTATION OF THE FLANDRES TERMINAL (TDF) WITH MR. RIONDEL- MANAGING DIRECTOR
FLANDRES TERMINAL CONTAINER PARK
For the seaport of Dunkirk, the Terminal des Flandres (container terminal) represents an undeniable asset for its growth. A total of 680,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) of volume has been reached by 2021. Through its dedicated and reliable team that actively participates in regional development.Thanks to its 64 hectares of surface area and the responsiveness of its teams, the TdF is sized to berth the largest vessels, and offers customized solutions for special operations or the management of heavy packages.
As the leading reefer terminal in France and historically specialized in perishable goods to Guadeloupe and Martinique, and recently extended its expertise to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, and also to river transport, a sector of the future offering competitive costs with a low carbon footprint.
The TdF's action aims to accelerate the regional economy while participating in the growth of shipping companies. For this reason, new services and better offers are regularly proposed. By the end of 2022, the terminal will be able to offer 30% more capacity and to increase productivity, the port community has set a target of more than one million TEUs by 2023-2024.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROCESS OF UNLOADING CONTAINERS
1. Terminal operations
Operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except on Christmas and May 1st.
1.1 Receipt of unloading and loading plans from shipping companies (indicating the day and time of arrival of the ships).
1.2 Mobilization of the dedicated team, according to the size of the vessel.
Objective: Unload 25 containers/h per gantry as soon as possible upon the arrival of the ship.
How to locate the containers?
Each cell is marked in the ship, each container is assigned to its cell.
1.3 Freight unloading process: the plan sent by the shipping company indicates where each container must be unloaded according to a batch number, using cranes (operations carried out by the dockers who confirm the unloading over a PDA).
1.4 Flow of goods: the container are moved inside the Flandres park by means of a truck where it is stored.
1.5 Sending an alert to forwarders: once the container has arrived at the Flandres park, a message is sent to forwarders.
1.6 Customs clearance process: once the customs clearance process has been completed, the rightful owner (the shipper or his representative) can instruct a carrier to collect the container from the Park.
2. Collection of the container
The container park can usually opened 5 to 7 days (except on request).
Hours : 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
2.1 Arrival of the carrier, passing through the security Gate with his container supporting documents.
2.2 Loading of the container on the truck chassis and departure to its destination.
Objective: fast loading in 40 minutes from arrival.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES THE PORT OF DUNKIRK OFFER?
Besides the fact that we are in a good place, plus our range of solutions, the Port of Dunkirk offers many advantages to shippers, including :
- Docking and unloading upon arrival due to the limited access of the quays.
- No congestion, ships dock every week and no waiting time, the terminal is fluid for forwarders who have short transit times.
- A favorable social environment, we have not had any strikes since 1992 and benefit from a strong collective motivation.
- Good maritime access: only 5 miles of South-North rail detour
- Environmentally friendly: Liquid Natural Gas available by barge
- Price of the barge movement at the same price as the truck movement
To compare with the Belgian ports, we also offer advantages for French shippers : when unloading in France, do not have to pay ecotaxes for road transport. They also have no exchange of goods declaration and no additional fees, or freight charges.
We also take benefits from an environmentally friendly business:
- VAT reverse charge since 2016
- 2016: TdF Security certification (AEO-S)
- 2019: TdF AEO certification: Customs simplification (AEO-C)
- An efficient veterinary and phytosanitary inspection service (SIVEP)
- A single desk for customs formalities and fraud control/customs clearance 24 hours a day
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF YOUR ECO-FRIENDLY MODEL?
First of all, from an ecological point of view, loading in Dunkirk for French shippers is an environmental act, because we are closer to the distribution points than Anvers and Rotterdam, there is a gain of kilometers.
For our infrastructure, we have cold ironing equipment to turn off ships at the quay, and we also use LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminals.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON THE TdF ACTIVITIES?
The Brexit did not have a direct impact on containers in Dunkirk, but it did disrupt the organization of shipping companies. They lost several days: loss of time before and after docking. In addition, the export of goods has been slowed down. Therefore, shipping companies prioritize countries where the market is stable in the import-export. Nevertheless, the lack of carriers in the UK has allowed several companies to store their containers in Dunkirk.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE FLANDRES TERMINAL IN 2022
- Developing the flow of French goods from/to the USA
- Make more efforts on intermodal transport and particularly river transport with the Seine North Canal
- Promote transshipments*
- Reduce costs of other port services
- Support the terminal's logistics partners
*Transshipment is a practice that allows goods received to be transshipped directly to the shipping dock, without storage. This reduces storage costs and delivery times.
FLANDRES TERMINAL IN A FEW FIGURES
QUAY AND STRATEGIC EQUIPMENT :
- Flandres quay: 1600 meters
- Including 916 meters at -17.50 meters
- 8 Super-Post-Panamax-gantries
TERMINAL INFRASTRUCTURE :
- Surface area : 64 ha + 6ha (for Oct. 2022)
- Current capacity: 900,000 TEU
- Capacity at the end of 2022: 1.1 to 1.5 million TEUs
- CFS: warehouses of 6,658 m2
- Rail connections: 4x750m
- Reefer equipment: 700 electrical outlets
- Direct outlet on the Dunkirk-Valenciennes canal
Visit of the Terminal des Flandres. From left to right, Charles MATHEY- Marketing & Communication–Director of Bansard International, Nicolas MAUGER - Customs & Compliance Director of BCS Customs, Marc RIONDEL- Managing Director Flandres Terminal, Sara AGBADO - Communication & Marketing working student at Bansard International, Maxime BRUNET- Communication & Marketing training student at BCS Customs, Vincent BRUNET- Business Manager of the Port of Dunkerque
Bansard International teams would like to thank Marc RIONDEL for his availability and for answering our questions. Special mention to Vincent BRUNET, Port of Dunkerque Business Manager, without whom we would not have been able to visit the port and conduct this interview!