Calais is the first French port and the second largest European port for travellers, located in one of the most active economic areas in the world with significant growth prospects.
During both last years, the freight volume traffic on the Calais-Dover line dramatically increased by almost 20 % and the need to invest to strengthen both ports capacity and adapt them to this new situation became more urgent than ever.
Calais is located at the crossroads of Europe, close to the Channel making Calais a must to go to Dover. According to forecasts, by 2030 the Channel traffic is expected to increase by 40 %. In 2015, more than 3.3 million lorries and 33 million passengers went through Calais and around by using the shuttle and the port facilities.
Calais is the first passenger port in the continental Europe and the fourth French port for goods. Calais receives an average of 10 million passengers and 43 million tons of freight per year, with a considerable and constant increase in both traffics, offering considerable assets such as the shortest distance between the Continent and the United Kingdom (43 km) and an exceptional motorway access.
The Port of Dover on the other side of the Channel also invests several hundred million pounds to cope with the 40 % expected traffic growth. The Port of Calais will so meet the Europe’s economic development with its English partner.
Calais Port 2015 is the result of a long administrative process and long term thinking of what the Calais port should be for the next 50 years. Compared with other French ports, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais and Dunkirk harbors are relatively recent and all three offer various different activities.
The Port of Dunkirk (now called GPMD Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque) has a rather industrial use with a self-governing status. It is now in its sixties after being completely rebuilt after the second world war. Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais ports belong to the “Région” and were operated until now by the local Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The Port of Calais vocation is essentially based on the Channel crossing traffic with daily connections between France and England for freight and passenger traffic. This makes Calais the first French port for passenger traffic.
The Port of Calais operator fought for so many years
to promote its expansion and accommodate larger ships,
corresponding to the imagined growth prospects.
Building on Calais Port past development and for promotion of the future of Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais ports, the Region has launched a tender for the attribution of a single port concession for 50 years. It was awarded to Société d’Exploitation des Ports du Détroit confering to Société des Ports du Détroit the duty to implement Calais Port 2015 project.