The Port of Dunkirk is aiming to improve its service to logistics and industrial businesses with the creation of a new development area.

Officials explained that the space covers 75 hectares with 96,000 m sq comprising of warehouses which will contain a wide range of storage spaces in a number of automated units.

It represents the first development of its kind in France and is aimed at bringing more major companies to use the Dunkirk  dock as a base for their operations. It is expected that the logistics volumes will consist of 850,000 palettes and the equivalent of 100,000 containers. Five trains a week will be able to use the 18 kilometres of railway line which is due to be built and 500 HGVs will also run from the facility.

Plans for the project were unveiled in a public meeting on April 12th and put before the Permanent Secretariat for the Prevention of Industrial Pollution (Opal Coast S3PI) in Dunkirk. The Eiffage Group will also be involved in creating an innovative project on the Dunkerque Logistique International Sud (DLI Sud) site.

Officials have maintained that will be compliant with existing regulation for the protection of health, safety and the environment meaning that those conducting logistics jobs will be able to trace hazardous material which is crucial for industrial and distribution firms.

Christine Cabau, chair of Dunkerque-Port’s executive committee, said: "This new multimodal facility, central to the development projects for the port’s future infrastructures, is also fully in line with its sustainable development and action policy."

The development of Dunkirk's operations is aimed at making it a key location for suppliers heading out to either mainland Europe or to the UK. Back in Great Britain, there has been significant progress in boosting competition between Liverpool and the south coast in terms of key logistics sites. The Merseyside city is currently in the process of constructing a superport and the development of the Liverpool 2 project from Peel Ports is also in full swing.