• Optimised system of goods transportation

    Road, rail and river

Pre- and End Haulage

For the port’s activities to run smoothly, they require an optimised system of goods transportation, with top-quality infrastructure for all interconnecting transport options: road, rail and river.

Atlantic Port of Bordeaux continues to invest year after year in the port’s rail and river connections, forming partnerships with SNCF (french railway network) and vnf (french river transport agency) to develop intermodality




Atlantic Port of Bordeaux’s rail transportation network is concentrated on two main sites: Bassens and Le Verdon. The facilities can accept Category D loads (22.5 tonnes per axle) and has long loading and unloading lanes, ideal for modal shifts and minor maintenance operations including fuelling. Le Verdon is linked directly to the Bruges logistics platform, a dry port just outside Bordeaux.

To support the development of rail traffic in pre- and end haulage, Atlantic Port of Bordeaux is authorised to reserve train paths on the French National Rail Network (RFN) to meet the needs of its shipper customers and railway operators.

Multi-year discussions are also underway with SNCF Réseau to identify and free up train paths to the Atlantic Port of Bordeaux terminals.

Atlantic Port of Bordeaux holds a safety approval issued by the French Railway Safety Authority (EPSF).

The conditions of access to the Port Railway Network are available in the Port Railway Network reference document available below:






More environmentally friendly than road transportation, river transit is one of Atlantic Port of Bordeaux’s key development priorities, alongside the rail system.

The level of river transportation in Aquitaine is fairly low however, due to the difficulties inherent in navigating the region’s waterways. With the exception of the Gironde estuary and the section of the Garonne between Ambès and Langon, the river network is not capable of handling large vessels. The canal linking Bordeaux and Toulouse is punctuated by a series of locks, all Freycinet gauge.

These restrictions notwithstanding, considerable effort has been made to develop river transport around the Port of Bordeaux authority. This form of transportation is used for four main purposes:

  • Transporting cereals from the islands in the estuary to Blaye
  • Transporting Airbus components from Pauillac to Langon
  • Transporting biofuels from Bassens to Ambès





Prized for the great flexibility it offers, road transportation accounts for the vast majority of pre- and end haulage at Atlantic Port of Bordeaux (90 %).

The port authorities work closely with all interested parties to improve the quality of the road transport system year after year, always seeking to enhance performance. Improving access to the Bassens site is a key priority for the near future.

Moreover, in order to improve parking facilities for HGVs and provide better service to drivers, Atlantic Port of Bordeaux is working in partnership with the Bordeaux Urban Community and the Bassens town council to expand and refurbish the dedicated HGV parking lot (in the ‘Bassens Triangle’), which should also help cut down on waiting times.