Further details of the Ro-Ro Max project underway at the French port of Le Havre reveal that logistics providers, including Gefco, Groupe CAT, Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Walon France, are working with technical committees to improve the storage surface and management of vehicle flows through the port.
The project, which aims to boost finished vehicle throughput to 500,000 by 2015 (from 340,000 last year), will mean growth of a third on import-export activity in 2010. The ports main customers include BMW, Kia, Nissan, PSA and Renault.
Plans include development of a 100ha surface for the terminal and the building of intermodal facilities offering value-added services, as well as standardised customs and administrative processes.
“Logistics operators, including Gefco, CAT and Walon France, are going to work within technical committees in cooperation with laboratories and engineering schools, basing their research on data given by the operators to define model schemes for the optimisation of the storage surface and management of vehicle flows through the port,” a spokesperson for the port of Le Havre, Annie Vendôme, told Automotive Logistics. “Then, they will provide models of flow optimisation adapted to the ro-ro terminal. The models will be tested on-site by the operators.”
These schemes include the introduction of electronic vehicle identification, where operators will work with the In-car Electronic Systems Research Institute (IRSEEM), as well as mobile systems for vehicle tracking, involving research from Le Havre university’s Study and Research Centre in Economics and Logistics Management (CERENE). Input from the Laboratory of Applied Mathematics in Le Havre will also contribute to the improvement of physical flows at the terminal.
The Ro-Ro Max project is now in the second of three stages. Following expertise and consultation through 2010, in March this year trial began at the terminal ahead of the official launch in June. These trials will run until the end of 2012 when practical applications at the port will begin. A marketing study is also now underway that includes benchmarking with operators in the German port of Bremerhaven.
“An assessment was carried out in 2010 with all actors involved in this business, as well as with ship owners and car manufacturers,” said the port in an official statement. “The approach started has met with unanimous approval among all partners.”
Developments at the port are also aimed at improving the accommodation of ships at the port for both short- and deep-sea routes, including 8,000 CEU vessels, as well as the development of facilities for barge traffic from the river Seine Artery.