France’s HAROPA: The Western European Gateway

Anyone interested in history would remember the Allies landing on Normandy Beach, France, during World War II, where they reigned victorious with superior logistics. Such outstanding cargo and transport management system continued to develop and has laid the foundation for Europe’s world-renowned logistics standard today. This article seeks to introduce the “HAROPA Seaport”; France’s fifth largest joint-port in the world, and recently elected the Best Green Seaport in the world, as well.It’s the first logistics hub to merge three city ports together as a single full-scale service port. This solved the problem of competing against each other, operating in isolation,ineffective protocols, and thereby, causing unnecessary inconvenience and unhappy customers.

France sees four global trends for seaport management as follows:

  1. Increase by-sea trade volume with developing countries or emerging markets that currently operate with above average economic growthrate in comparison with developed countries, and a driving mechanism of the global economy.
  2. Integrated Port System: the increasing need for domestic cross-port joint operation efforts among various nations to gain regional competitiveness and better answer customer needs.
  3. Enthusiastic adjustmentbyeach country in responseto changing business models.
  4. Increasingly complex management operations and limitations to land transportations.

The synchronized logistics system is comprised of three joined ports that connect the cities of Le Havre, Rouen, and Paris by the Seine River, where theSeine River mouth is set on the northwest coast of France in connection with the English Channel. Le Havreport city is located at the river mouth before Rouen and Paristo the east, comparable to that of Thailand’s with seaport connectivities from the Gulf of Thailand in Sichang in to mainland metros through Klong Toey or Bangpakong and further access to other provinces and regions. The word HAROPA originated by combining the first syllable of the three citynames with respect to their connotation and the significance of the project.

France gave birth to HAROPA with the vision to become the Western European Gateway. Given the foresaw global trends and subsequent vision, the mission commenced in 2010 where the three ports were determinately integrated.

Two major benefits that resulted from the project include:

  1. First and foremost – happy customers. Patronage traders finally had a satisfactory and reliable logistics system. The maximized efficiency entailed outstanding coordination, domestically, abroad and with Europe, with reduced internal business competition and optimized organization.
  2. An interconnected network between modes of transport was created, i.e.,waterways, railways and motorways, which enables smooth and effective operations with minimal inconveniences to connectivity.
  3. Minimization of unnecessary land transportation. As roadways and other modes of transportation are becoming increasingly over-congested by the day, cargo should not transit from sea transport to land until the route no longer makes sense to carry the cargo by sea. Thus, land transport is minimized by crafting the most efficient route to transport by sea, therefore, minimizing the utilization of land transport and congestion.

So, how successfully has the five year old HAROPA mission been? To answer that question, one simply has to take a look at its ranking amongst the top world ports – HAROPA is ranked fifth in the world; after the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Hamburg, Germany; and Amsterdam of Netherlands.

HAROPA’s marketing starts with contacting the customers to present transporting solutions tailored to their needs with regards to exporting and distributing in Europe. Such solutions are developed using Multi-modal for handling distribution in major cities that poses limitations to cargo transporting by land. For example, consumer goods in Paris super markets that require shipment by sea, first, before further distribution in to main land. Even construction equipment and products have designated delivery slots and designed routes to minimize land transport and facilitate overall transportation quality in such congested locations, not only for shippers, but for local patrons, as well. All in all, the same attribute, conditions, and prospects exist with that of SCG Logistics’ as well.

The most practical and convenient benefit of customizing HAROPA is probably that no long term port-customer contract or obligation is necessary, which usually causes inconveniences and inefficiency in service operations.The only requirement for setting services to sail is a fully loaded cargo, or Volume Throughput, where HAROPA can take advantage of servicing multiple ports as well as serving them, too. Hence, HAROPA has managed and made available several things in facilitation, they be basic port infrastructure, appropriate freight transit support systems, proper port protocols and management, transportation, to environmental initiatives that set the standard for transport models that benefit all related parties, private or public.

It is noteworthy, though, that France’s overarching ken differs from that of Thailand’s, i.e., it is the role of government to invest in and develop unprivatizable public goods for the purpose of facilitating and enabling the private sector to do what it does best to further trickle the generated wealth down the channels. That, in itself, to France’s credit, is easier said than done, as most corporations pledge their allegiance first and fore mostly to the stock holders. However, such intervention, if crafted on strong financial standings, transparent, and held accountable with good governance, oversight, and effective taxation, substantially outcomes that benefit society at large, both socially and economically, can be expected. For the most part, nonetheless, the catalyst for eternal vigilance are informed citizens, or, to the flip side of a capital sphere, Conscious Consumerism, where by present, proper tools can fall in place with a green conscious platform at the heart for everything else to catapult off. Perhaps, such intervention could see, in part, less cargo trucks on the roads, thus, in turn, save tax Bahts from going in to more roads that signal wrong consumption vibes though macro-economically irrelevant.

Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics

References   Supply Chain Mania D-Day 2015 , Pictures

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