Emmanuel Rion, Thanks Container: "The problem is not the capacity, but the time spent at the quay"

Par ediallo - 27 October, 2021 - 07:09

Thanks Conteneur is a road transport company for maritime containers located in Le Havre. Emmanuel Rion, its managing director, discusses the impact of the disruption of the global supply chain on his business, the difficulties of accessing the port of Le Havre and the evolution of transport prices.

L'Officiel des transporteurs: To what extent are you impacted by the disruption of the global supply chain?

Emmanuel Rion: After a drop in activity in October 2020, a recovery was felt from April. It was in July-August that we returned to normal rhythms.

The consequences of the Covid and the paralysis of the Suez Canal have caused a slowdown in rates and a shift in calls, with the result that several vessels have arrived simultaneously in Le Havre.

As the free time on the terminals is three or four days, we have to quickly clear this flow of boxes before the next wave. Some weeks, our schedules are extremely busy, while other weeks they are almost empty.

L'O.T.: Do you encounter any difficulties in accessing the container terminals in Le Havre?

E.R.: The appointment system at the terminals does not help, since the slots do not increase with the number of containers present.

Sometimes, we are therefore forced to work at D+5. It can happen that for an export batch we miss an appointment, which the terminal refuses to give us, so the whole batch does not embark.

This organization lacks flexibility and hinders small carriers who do not necessarily have a PPM to free the chassis. I have often asked this question at the terminal:

"If my driver has to take out two containers and the first appointment is at 8 am, at what time should I fix the second one to be sure to honor it in time?".

The handler systematically evades the question without giving a clear answer. The problem of appointments is not only a matter of capacity, but also a problem of time spent on the quay.

L'O.T.: How are transport prices evolving?

E.R.: Prices are far too low on the container market but the carriers are partly responsible for this situation.

If they are not able to carry out the coupling operation, the carrier loses money, and many of our colleagues prefer to "bring in a bit of money" to the detriment of profitability. Today, a 40-foot container from Paris North sells for between 530 and 580 euros.

Emptying a container requires a whole day for less than 600 euros of turnover, which is not enough, even if your equipment is paid for.