The Italian shipping group Grimaldi (eight companies: ACL, Malta Motorways of the Sea, Minoan Lines, Grimaldi & Suardiaz Lines, Finnlines, Grimaldi Compania di Navigazione, Atlantica di Navigazione and Inarme), which has 8,000 employees worldwide and 102 ships in operation, is expanding its presence on the HAROPA terminals with a new liner shipping service covering the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia / Baltic and the UK. Since July, Finnlines – a subsidiary of the Italian group since 2006 – has been offering from the Radicatel Terminal a weekly shipping service direct to Santander - El Ferrol (1/ 2) - Radicatel (HAROPA-Port of Rouen) - Hull (UK ) - Helsinki - Saint Petersburg - Kotka (Finland) - Rauma (Finland).
The transit times are worth noting:
- 5 days to Helsinki
- 6 days to St Petersburg
- 2 day from Santander
- 2 days from El Ferrol
Four conventional ro-ro ships (CONRO) provide the service on fixed days (Friday / Saturday), transporting containerized or conventional freight as well as vehicles. “We are responding to the needs of our customers with this new line to Finland, the UK and Russia and very short transit times ”, David Giboudeau, CEO of Grimaldi ACL France points out. “It also offers work windows on fixed days and a highly flexible “express” service in terms of closing times.”
The maiden port call at the Radicatel Terminal took place on 6 July with the Misana vessel (launched in 2007, 165 metres LOA, 24 metres beam, 11,407 dwt, flying the Finnish flag).
“The arrival of Finnlines boosts the business of the HAROPA port communities on these trades, in particular for the companies in Rouen that have always shipped to Scandinavia such as Promaritime, one of the pioneers in shipping on this sector with its Promarline Service ”, Hervé Cornède, HAROPA Commercial and Marketing Director, notes. “In addition, the decision of the Grimaldi Group to expand its services via HAROPA is a strong sign of confidence for all shippers.”
In March 2013, the Grimaldi Group already illustrated its confidence in HAROPA by opening a second service to Africa from the ports of Le Havre and Rouen, with its new “Central Express” line to the ports of Conakry (Guinea), Lomé (Togo), Lagos (Nigeria) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
The shipping line also offers a service to Moscow by road or rail.