Last modified: 2010-12-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: havre (le) | port authority | port autonome | ship (white) | stars: 12 (yellow) | chamber of commerce and industry | cci | hexagon |
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Flag of Le Havre Port Authority - Image by Ivan Sache, 15 October 2003
Le Havre is currently the first port (by traffic) in France and
the fifth in Europe. Energy ranks first, with importations of crude
oil and coal, and transfer of refined products and gazeous
hydrocarbures. Main bulk goods are grains, industrial products and
chemicals. There is also a very important activity of container
transfer. Passenger traffic is mostly represented by ferries operated
by P&O between Portsmouth and Le
The number of commerce ships landing each year in Le Havre is about 7,000, involving 250 scheduled lines with more than 500 ports all over the world. The port has developed specialized terminals and recently a new port for container ships, the largest in France and one of the largest in Europe. The project Port 2000 shall allow landing of all kind of ships regardless the tide and without waiting time.
The François I lock (écluse François
I) is one of the biggest locks in the world (length, 400 m;
width, 67 m; depth, 24 m). 250,000-ton ships can cross it and sail
from the tidal basins into the constant level basins and canals such
as the canal du Havre.
A big industrial zone (1,500 ha) was set up along the canal du Havre. Big companies such as Renault and Hispano-Suiza (mechanic industries), Elf, Atochem, Goodyear and Air Liquide (petrochemistry) and Lafarge (cement) have built factories and warehouses in this industrial zone.
In 1995, the inauguration of the bridge of Normandy favoured the activity of the port by opening a quick route towards west. Compared with the traditional, crowdy route via the bridge of Tancarville, 70 km were spared.
A separate oil terminal was built in 1972 in Antifer, 22 km north of Le Havre. The port, built in deep water (25 m) was expected to receive supertankers (550,000 tons), but its economical interest was and is still disputed.
The organisation of the ports and the management of the traffic are explained in details, with nice screen simulations, in the Espace maritime et portuaire des docks Vauban, a museum set up in the 19th century docks of Le Havre. Since the entrance of the port is located near the center of the town (as opposed to Marseilles, for instance), the impressive traffic of huge container ships surrounded by a flotilla of "bees" can be easily spotted from the promenade of Le Havre.
The port of Le Havre is managed by a State agency called Port
autonome du Havre (Le Havre Port Authority). The flag of the
Port Authority, hoisted in front of the main building of the Port
Authority and in other places in the port, is blue with the white logo of the agency.
The logo is made of a ship "crossing" a "H" with curved vertical arms. The superstructure of the ship is made of the two letters "p" and "a", so that the full logo can be "read" port autonome du Havre. The logo can also represent a big ship crossing the François I lock. A ring of twelve European yellow stars is placed over the logo.
Ivan Sache, 15 October 2003
Flag of CCI Le Havre - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 October 2003
CCI Le Havre manages two toll bridges over the lower valley of Seine, the bridge of Tancarville (1,400-m long, inaugurated in 1959) and the bridge of Normandy (2,141-m long, inaugurated in 1995), and the airport of Le Havre-Octeville. It has 200 elected members, representing 2,740 merchants, 2,050 service providers and industrialists. Its two commerce colleges are the IPER, specialized in port activity, and the École Supérieure de Commerce du Havre.
Source: Com'estuaire website
The building of CCI Le Havre, located on the Commerce Basin, flies the flag of the CCI, white with the logo of the institution. The logo is made of an hexagon, symbolizing France (the country is often nicknamed l'hexagone, which irritates the Bretons who are excluded of the hexagon) and divided into blue and red rays emerging in a spiral pattern from a white off-centred disc. The words "CCI LE HAVRE", in blue letters, are placed horizontally in the upper part of the logo.
Ivan Sache, 14 October 2003