Which region can say it connects Paris to the rest of the world, is the main port in France for international trade and container traffic plus the biggest French grain port? Normandy! The region takes pride of place in the world of logistics and shipping from its prime location between the Channel-North Sea, which sees 20-25% of the world’s trade pass through every year, and Île-de-France, Europe’s biggest consumer area. Normandy is now one of the leading regions for paid employment in the industry. 

A prime location, with major logistical infrastructures

Normandy’s prime location gives it a real advantage. It lies on the Seine Axis, one of France’s most important transport corridors, and plays host to first class port, rail and road infrastructures. One of them is HAROPA PORT (group of the ports in Le Havre Rouen and Paris), the biggest port complex in France and the 4th biggest port in Northern Europe. The region also has land available for transport development (2200ha)*, a rare gem in the Paris area. What does that all mean? Every area of the logistics and shipping industry (port, ground, packaging, storage) continues to grow in Normandy. There was a 5.7% increase in companies working in the sector between 2010 and 2020 and a 7.9% increase in jobs.
*source Normandy CCI 2019 figures

A network to unite the Normandy industry

Logistique Seine-Normandie

Logistique Seine Normandie (LSN) has united Normandy supply chain businesses since 2003. The network has 200 members (service providers, carriers, freighters, infrastructure operators etc.) and 6 logistics clubs bring the industry to life in the local area. Objectives: foster a sense of competition, fuel business and increase skills in industry companies. LSN is also a space to consider and discuss subjects such as the appeal of the trade among recruits, sustainable logistics, employment and innovation. Speaking of innovation, the network provides specific services to industry businesses to support their projects, from the initial idea to fundraising. 

Normandy, Europe's logistics stronghold

  • Biggest region in France
    in terms of the proportion of jobs in logistics in the region’s total workforce
  • 8 sea and river ports
  • Biggest port group in France HAROPA PORT (ports in Le Havre, Rouen and Paris) involved in logistics in Normandy
  • Over 2200 companies hiring
  • Over 6 million m2 of storage area
  • Over 90 million tons handled in Normandy ports every year
  • Over 100,000 employees

Key components of the logistics industry in Normandy

Port and maritime logistics

Normandy is a giant in the industry: its ports see 50% of France’s international maritime transport and 60% of French container traffic* pass through. The main ports are in Le Havre and Rouen alongside Paris which have been united under the HAROPA PORT brand since 2021. The complex recorded over 85 million tons of goods and 3.1 million containers in 2022. Cherbourg, Caen-Ouistreham and Dieppe ports have been united as Ports de Normandie since 2019 and account of 6.5 million tons of goods per year. These port infrastructures are surrounded by world-renowned container shipping companies (CMA CGMA, Maersk in Le Havre, Marfret in Rouen) and logistics service providers such as Katoen Natie and Bolloré Transport & Logistics. *Source: Normandy CCI 2019.

Thomas Le Floch – Normandie Tourisme
Logistique Seine Normandie

Ground transportation and carriers

Normandy is also home to a variety of ground transportation businesses. Some handle the entire supply chain for their clients, such as DSV in Le Havre, Kapa Logistic in Eure and Mutual Logistics in Caen. Others specialise in specific areas, such as Seafrigo, the world expert in temperature-controlled food logistics, and the Mertz group, specialists in the transportation of dangerous goods. There are freight services throughout the Normandy area, including world leaders in the industry such as XP LOG or STEF, alongside homegrown companies like Normandie Logistique, Malherbe in Caen and Transports Desjouis in Orne.

Packaging and storage

Storage is integral to the industry! And it’s Normandy’s trump card. HAROPA PORT alone has as much as 12 million m2 in storage. And the land it has available for development (approx. 2200ha around the Seine) makes it a magnet for new projects. Industry giants have opened depots in Normandy, including Kuehne+Nagel which has been appointed to operate the new Maisons du Monde depot in Rouen. Colissimo will be in charge of a “next-generation” platform covering 19,000m3 from 2024 in Grand-Couronne. The SME Supplyweb has carved out a reputation as an e-commerce expert near Caen. 

Studio 911

In an effort to moderate property development, the French government and Normandy Region commissioned Logistique Seine Normandie to design a coherent regional shipping strategy. It will provide a framework for the development of transportation businesses in the region. It’s a first for France.

Decarbonisation: the future of the logistics industry is happening in Normandy

A significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon neutral by 2050: decarbonisation is a prime focus for the industry. Logistique Seine Normandie gathered all its members in 2022 for the first business and innovation event devoted to river and rail transportation in Normandy based on “Multimodal transport on the Seine: Let’s speed up decarbonisation”. It was an opportunity to highlight initiatives and speed up modal transfer projects. There are already several of them on track:

  • Development of river freight
    Replace trucks with boats and foster the initiative to decarbonise the last-mile logistics: river freight uses 5 times less fuel than road transport and emits 2.5 times less CO2. As part of the call for expression of interest to develop urban river logistics on the Seine Axis in 2022, 11 Normandy businesses were chosen for their initiatives. One of them was a group managed by Sogestran Logistics. 2023 saw the sustainable supply chain expert launch So Blue, the first river service in France to use HVO, a fossil-free fuel that reduces CO2 emissions by 90%.
  • Explore energy of the future
    The IDIT (Institute of International Shipping Law) launched the ALTERFI project in 2022 in partnership with Logistique Seine Normandie, Normandie Maritime, AFT Transport & Logistique and the CIRCOE logistics innovation consultancy firm in Le Havre. The idea is to provide Seine Valley businesses with an objective overview of the pros and cons of every type of engine and alternative fuel to help them make decisions. 
  • Accompanied combined transport between Cherbourg and Bayonne
    A new accompanied combined transport route should run from South West France to Ireland by 2024. Brittany Ferries and Ports de Normandie are behind the project. It is one of the three biggest projects of its kind in France. Similarly, the Normandy Region began building a new compatible multimodal terminal at Cherbourg port in 2023. The new route should save around 20,000 semi-trailer journeys on this axis, resulting in a reduction in CO2 emissions. 

Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.


Discover the support for the logistics industry by AD Normandie

Biggest French region for the clout of logistics in the job market

With over 2200 companies and 100,000 jobs, logistics accounted for over 5.9% of Normandy’s total private employment in 2020 compared to 4.7% nationwide. These figures make it one of the French regions where the shipping and logistics industry carries the most weight in in the regional job market.

Trades are changing, more women are coming to the industry 

The boom in e-commerce has seen a need for more local logistics and fuelled companies to open depots near towns and cities. That means lots of new jobs such as couriers, forklift drivers, warehouse clerks and cargo handlers. The industry already needs a lot of staff but will need even more because of the rising trend in relocation among companies. More women are also working in the industry, namely in engineering or order preparation positions. 

Studio 911

Cutting-edge logistics and port courses

Whether it be a career change or training course, Normandy has a whole host of qualifications in the shipping and logistics sector ranging from NVQs to PHDs. With the port and maritime industry being such a local hero, the region stands out for its courses specialising in sailing and port trades. 

Logistique Seine Normandie

Which are the best known? The maritime and port freight preparation agent course (HND) at Scholar Fab which sees 91% of graduates work in the field. The port and maritime law Master’s at Université du Havre trains maritime law experts with opportunities in insurance, shipping, port and administration. How about if you’re looking for a career change? The CPFP-UPR maritime, port transportation and customs course opens the doors to work as transit agents, customs officers, consignees, sales managers etc.

Academic establishments

Normandy has 106 facilities teaching forty different logistics courses:

News in the logistics industry in Normandy

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