The Autonomous Port of Paris is a State public institution whose mission is to develop waterway transport of goods and passengers in the Ile-de-France region. It achieves this by developing, maintaining and operating the port facilities of Paris and the surrounding region.
France’s N°1 Inland Port
Today, Paris is the first inland port in France and second in Europe, with 20 million tons transported by waterway in 2008. In tourism – passenger transport and activities – the port even ranks first in the whole world, with over 7 million passengers landing and embarking in 2008.
Without the waterway transport it handles, additional lanes would have to be added to many of the motorways of the Ile-de-France region, for the Port covers 13% of regional goods supplies.
The Seine is the second wide-gauge navigable river in Europe, and its banks (and those of its tributaries) are home to the three main infrastructures of the Autonomous Port of Paris, all linked to road and rail networks: Gennevilliers, Bonneuil-sur-Marne and Limay.
The major multimodal platforms of the Autonomous Port of Paris combine up to five transport modes: the waterway, of course, but also maritime, road and rail, plus an oil pipeline in Gennevilliers and Nanterre. 70 ports for warehousing and distribution, 1,000 hectares of port land, one million m² of warehouses, business and office space (of which 300,000 m² directly owned) complete the range of services and facilities on offer.
Since it was created in 1970, this public institution has developed facilities to build the kind of “metro system” for goods that is indispensable to the economy and urban ecology (removal of household waste, transport for industry and for the building and public works sector). But for all these facilities using the river and its banks, which are such sensitive sites, the Port makes significant efforts to ensure that they fit into the landscape, are environmentally-friendly and are of high architectural and planning standards.
Developing waterway freight
Enhancing and extending the Ile de France port network to provide businesses with the port facilities they need. This particular objective fits perfectly with the Government’s wish to increase the share of alternatives to road transport by 25%, in the wake of the Grenelle Environmental Forum.
Modernising, adapting facilities to businesses’ needs and to environmental issues are the key aspects of the Ile de France port network today. Among these orientations, the determination of the Port to demonstrate its ability to place its supply-chain know-how at the service of alternative transport modes to promote multimodal transport. In this context, the development of capacities to keep up with the growing number of combined transport operators is part of a dynamic waterway transport policy that is approved by more than nine inhabitants in ten in the Ile de France region. In practical terms, this trend means large-scale investment by the Autonomous Port of Paris and a long-term sustainable development strategy.
Developing passenger transport and river tourism
In 2008, Ile-de-France held on to its much-envied position as the world’s leading tourism destination, with more than 45 million visitors. The mission of the Autonomous Port of Paris is to ensure well-balanced development by creating the right facilities (ports of call and home ports) for passenger transport to grow.
Each year, the network of 34 ports of call developed by the Autonomous Port of Paris sees over 7 million visitors embark on passenger boats (representing one in every four tourists who visit the French capital).