4 July 2014 – Marseilles Fos looks to extend Morocco links
Cooperation between Marseilles Fos and Moroccan ports could be boosted by three potential new ventures – covering ferry services and agricultural trades – after the leading French port’s CEO Christine Cabau Woehrel requested and hosted a meeting with Morocco’s transport and logistics minister Aziz Rabbah.
Their talks opened by exploring the launch of a Tangiers-Marseilles ro-ro service aimed at enhancing Morocco’s trailer trades with Europe. Marseilles Fos then stressed its wish to assist shipping lines responding to the Moroccan marine department’s call for expressions of interest in operating a new ro-pax service.
The meeting concluded by examining the creation of a dedicated logistics platform in Tangiers and Marseilles Fos, which would consolidate flows of temperature-controlled agricultural produce between the two ports.
The discussions will be continued in September when the promotional body Via Marseilles Fos (VMF) – a consortium of the port authority, port professionals and the chamber of commerce – undertakes a trade mission to Tangiers and Casablanca.
Meanwhile, maintaining a customer confidence-building campaign since the French port reforms of 2011, VMF has hosted French and Turkish clients in separate two-day visits – which followed notable 9% growth in container volumes to the end of May.
A visit by 40 French shippers was organised in cooperation with the AUTF, the national association for freight transport users. Presentations on services, inland links, productivity and logistics zones featured case studies by Fos users Nestle Waters and Castorama.
Earlier VMF followed up its trade mission to Turkey last November by receiving 30 Turkish shipowners, forwarders, shippers and agents. Their visit included a tour of port installations after seminars focusing on the range of container, con-ro and ro-ro services to Turkey – almost daily at 29 calls per month.
Turkey is one of the main trading nations for Marseilles Fos. In 2013 it ranked fourth for general cargo – after 27% growth to some 1.5 million tonnes – and first for conventional trades, which rose 60% on the back of steel products exports from the ArcelorMittal plant at Fos