Another exceptional year: for two years, the two ports of Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer seem to be sailing on sight. In 2021, the SEPD will thus post a turnover of 93 million euros. It is also the year of the formal inauguration of the new port, on October 31st. This will cost 863 million euros over 40 years. “It was a bit of a difficult start, but you have to imagine that we transported everything from the old terminal to the new one. Companies also had to break in. And we are in the first year of Brexit“, explains Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of the SEPD. “The disaster that some predicted did not happen“, emphasizes, meanwhile, Benoît Rochet, Managing Director.
In Calais: the cross-Channel in overcapacity
However, traffic is at half mast: in Calais, the tourism segment is still at a standstill and other traffic is down. In 2021, 2.4 million passengers made the crossing, 27% less than in 2020. They were 8.4 million in 2019 and 8.9 million in 2018. For passenger vehicles, the slowdown is extremely pronounced: less than 250,000 vehicles (- 42% compared to 2020) against 1.4 million in 2019…
Two sectors are doing better than resisting given the health and post-Brexit contexts: freight, which barely loses 1%, and goods which show 38.2 million tonnes. Calais also hosted a new shipping company, Irish Ferry, “the first time in a long time», said CEO son. Thus, the Calais-Dover becomes the fast line again: in fact, the new Irish company has assigned two ships to the line in 2021 and a third should arrive in the coming months. Thus, between P&O and DFDS, Calais-Dover will be served by ten ships. Finally, P&O announces the arrival of new, even larger ships (230 meters, 1,800 passengers). While waiting for customers to return, companies have sent part of their fleet for maintenance.
Furthermore, Calais sees new, barely open line to Sheerness suspended by DFDS in the unaccompanied sector. The strike by dockworkers defending French labor law has held back the shipping company, which has not yet announced a final decision.
Boulogne-sur-Mer: good results
In Boulogne-sur-Mer, despite a turbulent year 2021 for Boulogne fishermen, victims of British administrative slowness in obtaining their permitted figures, almost all of them are on the rise. Globally, the total traffic of the commercial port stands at 1.26 million tonnes, including nearly 700,000 tonnes at Boulogne-sur-Mer.
On the fishing side, the raw tonnage of 2%, at 28,459 tons, for a value of 73 million euros (up 13%), with an average price per kilo of 2.58 euros (up 10%). In detail, the tide shows increases for the vast majority of species: mackerel, herring, whiting, scallops, cuttlefish, sardines, dogfish, sole, grayfish and whitefish. However, some varieties are in free fall, such as European hake (-60%) and squid (-23%), the price of which is up by nearly 22%.
Another good news, investments take place in the activity zone dedicated to Capécure seafood products. Thus, the companies Pure Salmon (fish farm project) and Direct Océan are extending their scope, as is Mondial Navys Emballages, while others are setting up. Thus, John Driedge moved into his new 9,000 m² plot. Grand Frais arrived in 2021 with 2 hectares. The fish trading company should take a new land option in 2022. This year should also see the realization of the Local Océan fish farm project – 7 hectares behind the commercial port -, 180 million euros will be invested and 150 jobs created. .