Firsthalf box volumes rise 14% at Marseilles Fos
First-half container traffic at leading French portMarseilles Fos reached 520, 132 teu – up 14% on the first six months last year– but total cargo throughput fell 4% to 42.7 million tonnes as oilvolumes continued to shrink.
In other high spots, dry bulks soared 23% to 5.8MT due toraw materials imports for the steel industry, while passenger numbers weremarked by a 12% rise in the cruise sector as the season came into full swing.
With box trades up by 58% for the Americas, 10% for the Mediterraneanand 8.6% for Asia, volumes through the Fos container terminals rose 18% to400, 000 teu and the Marseilles terminal gained 2% for 120, 000 teu. This led a12% increase in general cargo to 8.6MT, which included 2.1MT from ro-roservices (+3%) and 1.3MT on conventional trades – a 17% rise reflectingdemand for steel products.
Liquid bulks were down 12% on 28.3MT, stemming from a 13%drop in crude oil and petroleum products to 26.6MT. Oil refinery shutdownscontinued to hit crude imports, which were pegged to 11.4MT (-22%) for nationalrefineries and 4.1MT (-13%) for pipeline deliveries to Switzerland andGermany. LNG slumped 24% to 2.8MT, but LPG improved 13% for 1.2MT and refinedproducts gained 10% for 7MT. Other liquid bulks – chemicals andagro-products – made up 1.7MT of the total, a 2% improvement led by an11% rise in biofuels.
Passenger throughput increased 8% to 855, 400. Ferrycarryings improved 6% to 499, 000 while cruise numbers rose 12% to 356, 400, underlining the growing role of Marseille as host port to ever-larger vessels. In June alone more than 110, 000 cruise clients passed through the port, whichhandled an average of 3, 600 passengers per day.
Portstarts talks on combined transport project
Following a call for tenders, the Marseilles Fos supervisoryboard has chosen a four-strong consortium to develop and operate a combinedtransport hub alongside the Med Europe container terminal in the Marseillesharbour area.
The group consists of Progenor, a Credit Agricole subsidiaryspecialising in multimodal platform projects, and three of the port’sestablished transport providers – CMA Rail, T3M and SNCF Geodissubsidiary Naviland Cargo. Negotiations on co-financing and the operatingagreement are now under way and due to be completed by the end of the year.
With an estimated cost of €60 million, the facilitywill provide a single rail-road interface that serves Med Europe containertrades and also traffic displaced from a smaller combined transport terminalthat is being redeveloped under the Euromediterranee urban renovation scheme.
The new hub will be able to handle 150, 000 boxes and swapbodies per year, doubling capacity for rail-borne traffic in the Marseillesport zone and helping to reduce the current 85% balance of containerstransported by road.
Investment on the ten-hectare site will cover thelengthening of rail lines, road improvements, construction of a container depotand the purchase of railhead gantries