Eurotunnel and the Port Autonome de Dunkerque (PAD) have signed a strategic partnership agreement with the intention of developing a coordinated approach to rail freight activities.
Only 30 miles apart, Eurotunnel and the PAD manage major infrastructures on the French north coast which in 2006 transported a combined 74 million tones of goods. The combination of the land based and the sea ports means that there are many opportunities to share complimentary knowledge and many areas of common interest to explore.
Following the success of its financial restructuring, Eurotunnel is concentrating on the re launch of rail freight as a major axis of development. The PAD has substantial rail infrastructure and is one of the leading ports in France for forwarding sea borne goods by rail.
The agreement between Eurotunnel and the PAD will focus on three specific areas of cooperation:
- The transport of containers unloaded at the dedicated terminal in the port of Dunkirk and subsequently forwarded to the UK by rail freight via the Channel Tunnel;
- The operation of rail links between Dunkirk, the coast and the multimodal platform at Dourges (Pas-de-Calais);
- The pooling of technical knowledge, particularly in the field of safety and railway operations.
The partnership agreement between Eurotunnel and the PAD was signed at the headquarters of the Communaut’ urbaine de Dunkerque, in the presence of its President, Michel Delebarre, previously a Minister of State in the French government, who wholeheartedly supports the partnership.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive of Eurotunnel said, ‘This agreement shows that Eurotunnel is committing itself with determination to the path of development and confirms our intention to re-launch rail freight, transport which is good for the environment.’
Jean-Claude Terrier, Managing Director of the Port Autonome de Dunkerque, said ‘The contacts we have established over several years demonstrate how we complement each other in a number of areas. This agreement will enable us to put them into action.’