The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a case study on Marseilles-Fos as part of its research programme on the competitiveness of city ports.
Previous studies have covered the Seine axis in France as well as Helsinki, Hamburg and Amsterdam/Rotterdam. The Marseilles-Fos study evaluates port performance, analyses the impact on its territory and assesses policies and governance.
Not surprisingly the review criticises aspects of the port’s past in recalling losses of traffic and market share over several decades. But it also reveals the port’s major economic importance -highlighting its oil sector specialisation; the catalyst effect that sees port investment drive matching injections into the national and regional economy; and the generation of some 40-45, 000 jobs through port activity.
The study concludes with what the port authority describes as ‘encouraging’ recommendations – seven actions that the authors suggest could enhance the international position of Marseilles-Fos among city ports. Apart from calling for a united approach and transparency of information, the OECD stresses the importance of the port continuing to act beyond its immediate territory by engaging in strategic partnerships throughout the hinterland.
At a more local level, the study outlines an action plan for attracting international maritime services. In addition, following an examination of the port’s current governance, there is a strong suggestion for wider representation among regional bodies.
Input to the research came from the Marseilles-Fos port authority, shipowners, the Marseille-Provence chamber of commerce, the city council and regional authorities. The full report can be accessed via www.oecd-ilibrary.org