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Monday, June 24, 2019

Maritime Logistics Professional

June 9, 2019

NPS Connects Dunkerque and Metz

Pic: Port of Dunkerque

Pic: Port of Dunkerque

The Port of Dunkerque, France's biggest harbour on the North Sea in terms of the total traffic throughput, is continuing to develop its combined transport plan with the implementation of the Flandres Express (FLEX) rail service to the East of France.

Created in 2013, Nord Port Shuttle (NPS), has gradually developed a network of containerized river services between Dunkerque and the main inland ports of the Hauts-de-France Region.

With the setting-up of a rail service between Dunkerque and Metz, the operator has integrated a new mode of high-volume transport into its services accessing a major economic area.

The FLEX service will offer a weekly round trip during the start-up phase with Metz, the inland port for the Lorraine region, perfectly timed with various regular shipping lines calling at Dunkerque, in particular the OCEAN ALLIANCE Asia service. This new positioning on the East of France, Dunkerque's natural hinterland, will offer shippers in the East of France a new, high-volume and sustainable alternative.

The operator plans to quickly increase the frequency of the shuttle service to 2 round trips per week to provide greater flexibility. The slot for this second rotation is already included in the transport plan for the traction provider FRET SNCF.

For Stéphane Raison, President of the Executive Board of Dunkerque-Port “The start-up of the FLEX service is a new step in the development of the containerized port of Dunkerque, which is also France's leading rail port. With this shuttle, NPS will offer a differentiated service, likely to create new opportunities for modal shifts in the heart of a very dense economic region. The launch of this service at the same time as the European Sustainable Development Week is obviously a strong signal of our port's commitment to high-volume transport."

For Ferenc SZILAGYI, President of Nord Ports Shuttle: "The new service between Dunkerque and Metz is a real alternative for Lorraine's market participants; a simplified, civic, environmentally-responsible solution. We haven't launched the service during sustainable development week for nothing! Going through Dunkerque also makes it easier to connect to the AP+ port system, with transit via a French port and the last mile covered by a local partner. It shows proximity to market has priority."