Ports of Normandy sees the light of day

On 7 January, the board of the Ports of Normandy met for the first time. Hervé Morin was elected chair. Resulting from the merger of Ports of Normandy Authority with the Port of Dieppe, ‘Ports of Normandy’ is part of a region-wide strategy to develop the maritime economy of Normandy. The strategy is backed by Normandy Council, the departmental councils of Calvados, Manche and Seine Maritime and the agglomeration communities of Caen la Mer, Cotentin and Dieppe Maritime.

This new overarching port association was set up to define and implement a coherent strategy for all the ports in the region of Normandy. Port authority and owner of the Ports of Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Dieppe, Ports of Normandy (“Ports de Normandie”) manages and develops port infrastructure, guarantees the safety and security of maritime interfaces, defines sustainable development policies for all three ports and designates its agents, the latter being veritable partners.

In particular, the creation of Ports of Normandy will facilitate the harmonizing of regional and departmental policies relating to cross-Channel activities, yachting and fishing. This dynamic approach for the future gives rise to a port authority whose ‘commercial weight’ is comparable to some of France’s largest ports – greater even than, for example, the Port of Bordeaux – and consolidates its leading position in cross-Channel business west of the Dover Strait. However, tonnage isn’t the whole story because Ports of Normandy’s vocation is also to generate jobs and add value for companies doing business in the region.

The emergence of Ports of Normandy opens the door to a greater visibility on the national stage – a guarantee, among other advantages, of a better dialogue with the British authorities in the current context of Brexit. It increases considerably the region’s capacity to promote its ports and their influence among the various national, even international, authorities. It also allows the departmental and regional authorities that sit on the board of Ports of Normandy to guarantee the pertinence, coherence and complementarity of their investments.

The three ports that constitute Ports of Normandy are ideally situated just a few nautical miles from the European shipping lane (eastbound, 1 ship every 3 min.) and lie at the center of France’s Channel coast. Enjoying high-quality multimodal services which connect to the main European transport networks, the ports have the capacity to process various types of traffic and to host diversified activities. 

Within easy reach of offshore wind farms, just a few cables away from the most powerful tidal zones in Europe and established on a coastline of over 600 km, the three Norman ports are well on their way to becoming – together – a major actor in the development of Marine Renewable Energies.

In terms of human resources, Ports of Normandy employs a workforce of 200 across the sites of Saint Contest, Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Dieppe, the head office being in Saint Contest. Ports of Normandy features a varied range of trades and professions, including administrative support staff, engineers, operations supervisors, works inspectors, researchers, sales representatives, hydrographers, maintenance technicians, works supervisors, divers, electricians, hydraulicians, mechanics, warehouse supervisors, harbour masters and other port officers, crane drivers…

Hervé Morin, chairman, and all the other elected representatives of Ports of Normandy declare:

"By creating Ports of Normandy, the Regional Council, along with the departments of Calvados, Manche and Seine Maritime, and the agglomerations of Caen la Mer, Cherbourg and Dieppe Maritime, continues to champion the territory of Normandy."

"The union of our three ports – Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Dieppe – is foremost the recognition of a collective and political priority and ambition for the ports and maritime zones of Normandy, a region which had for too long turned its back on the sea."

"Developing port activity to increase added value and employment in the region, optimizing the general functioning of Normandy’s ports, and providing the region with a port infrastructure of national stature that complements our two major ports and yet remains flexible and responsive are the goals we have set ourselves!"