Earlier this month, the public authority Syndicat Mixte des Ports du Sud Alsace (SMO) awarded the concession contract of the Ports of Mulhouse-Rhin to the public-private company composed of the SMO, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Alsaceteam (joint venture of Swissterminal and the two French seaports Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and Haropa Port du Havre).
The operation of the three French inland ports is granted through a subdelegation contract to Alsaceterminal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swissterminal, which will take over Ottmarsheim, Huningue-Village-Neuf and Ile Napoléon ports in the course of 2021.
DP World believes this is a hugely positive announcement for the firm and its customers as it allows expansion of its already vast network across Europe, thereby offering greater geographic range, more transport solutions, and an increased number of connections.
More specifically the move will improve transport connections in the border triangle region between France, Switzerland and Germany, which holds such economic importance for numerous industries such as chemicals, metals, food processing, and construction.
The strategic location of the ports is also expected to grow in significance in the near future. New rail connections due to be implemented will link them to the two main French seaports of Le Havre and Marseille-Fos, while inland shipping to the largest North Range ports of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium) will be strengthened.
Rob Harrison- Vice President Inland & Logistics - Europe & Russia at DP World, said: "This is an incredibly exciting announcement for everyone involved, but also for trade in the region, as we as a sector continue to strive to introduce more products, improve efficiency and reliability, while of course reducing our carbon footprint and that of our customers through more sustainable inland transport methods, such as barge and rail.
"Swissterminal and its partners have committed to improving transport connections within Europe across the supply chain, especially within the border triangle region, and DP World will support those commitments where it can, while also offering the benefits of its wider European and global network, resource and facilities.
"We would like to congratulate our colleagues at Swissterminal and our new partners in the region. We look forward to working with them as the potential of these ports becomes a reality." ■