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French shipping companies
A relatively new fleet and a full and diversified range of services
In 2012, there were around a hundred French shipping companies operating 900 vessels, 581 of which under the French flag.
10 million passengers are carried every year.
A significant asset of the French shipping industry with an average age of 8 years, the fleet is one of the newest and most diversified in the world. French shipping companies operate in all sectors: goods transport, passenger transport, vehicle transport, oceanographic research, offshore activities and services, assistance and salvage.
Modern and reactive, the French fleet is the one best able to adapt to market conditions. French shipping companies give high priority to safety and the environment, and work continuously to improve the operating conditions of their ships.
By specialising in diverse areas, French shipping companies cover the whole range of sea transport. They also have a well-trained officer core who also take part in initiatives aimed at improving their working conditions.
From coasting to ocean-going voyages throughout the world, French shipping companies can transport all types of cargo.
The officer core who also take part in initiatives aimed at improving their working conditions, in par ticular through associations such as ACOMM (Merchant Navy Captain and Officer’s Association.
Armateurs de France is a professional organisation that represents 47 French maritime transport and service companies.
• Protect and further the interests of French shipping companies,
The main areas of activity of shipowners :
In container ships, apart from the giant CMA-CGM (see below), several companies operate, among them: Marfret (see below).
A French group making history, third in the world in container transport.
• Turnover of 14.9 billion US$ in 2011.
A family owned SME, Marfret operates as both a sea carrier and shipowner. The company employs 150 people and has a turnover of 170 million euros. With its 5 regular lines, Marfret has a strong territorial presence in three main geographical areas:
Europe and the Mediterranean, America and the Caribbean, South East Asia and the South Pacific .
A leader in offshore oil and gas marine services:
Bourbon meets the requirements of the most demanding clients in the oil and gas industry. Its commitment to build a modern fleet, to man vessels with qualified crews and to offer the most cost-effective solutions on the market are compensated by the trust and loyalty of its clients.
Bourbon works hard every day to provide the safest and most reliable range of offshore marine services with integrated support for offshore exploration, development and production. Through its Activities Marine Services and Subsea Services, both in deepwater and shallow water offshore, the group provides its clients with highly experimented, trained and qualified personnel who are committed to the success of the most sophisticated projects
Marine Services owns a fleet of 418 vessels (*), among which 70 deepwater offshore support vessels, 91 shallow water offshore support vessels and 257 personnel transport vessels.
Bourbon Subsea Services owns a fleet (*) of 18 IMR vessels and 12 ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).
Key figures & 2011 income:
• 1.008 billion euros, including 792.9 million euros for Marine Services and 172.8 million euros for Bourbon Subsea Services,
• 8,600 employees worldwide,
• 436 operating vessels,
• present in 27 countries
Jifmar Offshore Services
JIFMAR Offshore Services is the leading French company offering turn-key maritime solutions.
Operating a modern fleet of vessels with highly qualified personnel, JIFMAR provides assistance to:
• offshore wind farm operators,
• marine construction & engineering firms,
• offshore oil & gas community,
• the defense community
JIFMAR provides offshore terminal management integrated Inspection-Maintenance-Repair (IMR) services combining project management, project engineering, workboats, multipurpose vessels, personnel transfer vessels, state-of-the-art ROV’s, and specialized tools and protocols to increase productivity and safety when working at sea above and below water.
VDC Offshore specializes in workboat and crewboats chartering and the achievement of any types of mission at sea. VDC Offshore provides watch dog services on behalf of the French Navy, but also survey campaigns for offshore industries and differents other missions like personnel transfer, goods transfer or support in maritime works. VDC Offshore is located at Cherbourg and Lorient and can operate on all the French coast and in the both sides of the Channel.
Thomas Services Maritimes
Shipowner TSM operates service vessels in marine renewable energy, offshore and deep-sea towage and harbour towage.
TSM’s current fleet consists of 15 tugs stationed at different points on the Channel and Atlantic coasts.
TSM is an experienced operator and works closely with its customers during their projects using its specialised vessels especially in the following fields:
• transport and personnel transfer to offshore wind farms,
• barge and platform towage,
• vessel assistance
V.Navy a ship-owner, born from V.Ships group (the world leading provider of maritime services), has two main business units :
Solid bulk transport is especially well represented by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs
ABCRM was created in 2009 in order to offer sea and river transport services. It is the exclusive representative of the shipowning company SMO – a company based in Nantes which has been providing services to industry for over 24 years and which became a shipowner in 2004. SMO has invested in premium quality vessels and this investment is ongoing in order to comply with its clients’ needs. The fleet operated by ABCRM is comprised at the moment of 4 vessels: André Michel 1, Laguêpe, Frelon and AM Larafale.
3 vessels are operated on the Rhone-Mediterranean trade. AM Larafale is operated in the Bay of Biscay and around the Iberian peninsula. They transport all types of products: bulk, general cargo, project cargos.
Its office at Port-Saint-Louis du Rhone is in charge of the operation of the above vessels and ship agency for their calls on the Rhone river.
ABCRM also acts as shipbrokers in order to enable its clients use of their knowledge and their extensive network.
The company also organizes river transports on all inland waterways
Agence Maritime de l’Ouest
Founded in 1912 in Paimpol in Brittany, the company was specialized in short sea transport. Gradually, it has expanded its activities and is now acting as ship owner, ship manager, operator, ship broker, stevedore and freight forwarder. Conventional and dry bulk transport, project cargo, towing and marine projects is the core business of the company, which has subsidiaries in Hamburg and Rotterdam. Moreover, it has three joint ventures in conventional chartering, heavy lifting and towing sectors.
Compagnie Armoricaine de Navigation
Compagnie Armoricaine de Navigation (CAN) is a sand-dredging operation, a subsidiary of the Roullier group. CAN operates two sand dredgers, "Côtes de Bretagne" and "Côtes d’Armor", registered in Paimpol.
They extract marine calcium amendments and siliceous materials from proprietary and third-party deposits along the coasts of northern Brittany and the Atlantic Ocean. These two ships also operate on maritime projects such as re-sanding beaches and hydraulic embanking.
Dragages - Transports et Travaux Maritimes
DTM, together with its subsidiaries SDO and Sablimaris, is a sand dredging ship owner that specializes in extraction, transportation, treatment and sale of marine aggregates. DTM operates along the French West Atlantic coast between La Rochelle and Brest.
DTM operates two trailing suction hopper vessels that supply the four sand terminals of Sablimaris and his clients GSM and LAFARGE. Gaining sand at sea requires accurate and extensive preliminary studies undertaken by specialist consultants. This activity is part of the sustainable management of the sand resources and is organized within the frame of tough regulations and formal administrative authorization procedures.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs group (LDA) is a worldwide praised specialist of dry bulk transportation and logistics. With a 30 units fleet and modern logistics assets (floating cranes, barges and tugs), LDA offers a wide range of services, including port management, to all customers in the bulk logistics supply chain. Renowned offshore port operator, LDA group is the best partner for logistic innovation worldwide.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs group also focuses in various technological partnerships with important industry specialists: submarine cable-laying with ALCATEL-LUCENT, offshore seismic research with CGGVERITAS, aircraft components sea transportation with AIRBUS…
Also, through its subsidiaries FAIRMOUNT MARINE, specializing in deep sea towing, semi-submersible barges operations, salvage, ... and LD TravOcean, an expert of underwater and landfall operations, LDA group offers significant offshore services, especially in the field of renewable marine energies.
Finally, through its subsidiary LD Lines, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs group is actively pioneering the "Motorway of the Sea" concept, becoming a major player for Ro-Ro freight and regular passenger services in Europe.
French shipping companies are present in liquid bulk transport with more than 60 tankers carrying raw and refined bulk cargoes. Among shipping companies specialising in petroleum products, chemicals or liquefied gas are :
The group also operates two ro-ro barges designed to carry oversized components for the Airbus A380 on the Garonne River.
In addition, with five depots situated on the Atlantic coast, the group has a significant presence in the oil storage market.
Socatra group is also prominent player in the river leisure cruise business in Paris (Vedettes de Paris).
Maersk Tankers France SAS (Ex Broström Tankers SAS)
The fleet is mainly composed of high quality tankers Handy et Medium range and one VLCC.
The mission of Maersk Tankers is to offer to the oil and chemical industry competitive and safe transports.
industry. Its expertise has been built up over more than fifty years of activity in this sector.
Pioneer in the use of innovative technology in the highly specialized field of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipping, Gazocean is in charge of the crew and technical management of a fleet of last generation of LNG Carriers.
Based on its operational experience, Gazocean can offer consultancy, expertise and training services for shipping businesses.
These shipping companies compete actively in a rapidly expanding global shipping market carrying goods for the most demanding international companies including Total.
French shipping companies include large ferry operators. Brittany Ferries (see below), Corsica Ferries and SNCM are the largest.
On 3 August 2012, the French ferry fleet of around one million gross tonnes was comprised of:
Specialized in passenger and freight transportation, Brittany Ferries operates from France, Great Britain, Ireland and Spain.
• 2,550,000 passengers, 800,000 cars and 191,000 freight vehicles have been carried in 2011,
• € 369.9 million total turnover,
• 9 vessels,
• 2,500 employees – full-time equivalents, 70% sea-goers, all French Nationals.
The addition to the fleet of the vessels, Mont St- Michel (2002), Pont-Aven (2004), Normandie Express (2005), Cotentin (freight only) (2007), Armorique (2009) and Cap Finistère (2010), increased the Company’s capacity significantly
Compagnie du Ponant
For over 20 years now, Compagnie du Ponant has embodied the art of Yacht Cruises, combining a sophisticated à la française lifestyle on board with exploration and discovery.
Four small capacity ships with fully bilingual crew are composing the fleet of the Company.
• le Ponant, majestic three-mast with 32 staterooms,
• le Boréal, l’Austral, and le Soléal, yachts with 132 staterooms and suites.
Dreams locations off the beaten track, new cultures and close encounters with the wonders of Nature – these are the privileges on offer thanks to the small size and technical capabilities of the vessels belonging to Compagnie du Ponant.
Oceanographic Research vessels
GENAVIR is a Group of Economic Interest (GEI), and a company ISO9001 and ISM certified. Research vessels managed by GENAVIR are ISPS certified. GENAVIR missions are :
• To collect, certify and deliver scientific datas by operating research vessels, oceanographic equipments and underwater vehicles.
• To achieve maintenance of research vessels, oceanographic equipments and underwater vehicles (including Nautile submarine) according to rules and regulations.
• To act as shipowner of managed research vessels.
Members of the GEI are french scientific institutes (IFREMER, IRD, CNRS, IRSTEA) and a shipowner (BOURBON Offshore Surf).
GENAVIR is currently operating ten research vessels
(Pourquoi Pas?, Atalante, Thalassa, Alis, etc.), scientific equipments (as Heavy Seismic System, Autonomous corer PENFELD), submarine vehicles and equipments (Nautile, AUV, ROV, etc.) which belong to IFREMER and IRD. Fleet can be operated on all oceans except Artic and Antartic areas. GENAVIR employs 210 permanent french seamens, 85 engineers and technicians, 30 support employees.
GENAVIR is located at:
• Brest (29) where is the head office. The departments in charge of research vessels and scientific equipments are located on the same site.
• La Seyne sur Mer (83) where is the department in charge of submarine equipements (including Nautile).haut de page