11 August 2014 – Port news from Marseilles Fos
Trade, technical and training links between Marseilles Fos and Moroccan ports were strengthened with the signing of two cooperation agreements on Friday August 8 during a visit by Morocco’s transport and logistics minister Aziz Rabbah.
The signings came just seven weeks after the minister held exploratory talks requested by Christine Cabau Woehrel, CEO of the leading French port, who hosted the follow-up visit by a ten-strong Moroccan delegation.
The agreements signed by the Marseilles Fos port authority are with Morocco’s national ports agency and the special agency responsible for planning, development and management at the Tanger Med port and industrial complex in Tangiers. Objectives include:
- development of cargo, ro-pax and passenger services, notably a Tanger Med ro-ro line
- studies to create a logistics hub for Moroccan agricultural produce
- training programmes focused on safety, Vessel Traffic Services and port professions
- a support network for personnel in the energy, automobile, agricultural and container sectors
- information exchanges on port technology
Total cargo traffic between Marseilles Fos and Moroccan ports currently runs at around 0.5 million tonnes per year. Six direct links, mainly weekly, include three container and two con-ro lines as well as a car carrier service. There are also four indirect services – three container and one ro-ro/car carrier.
Mr Rabbah was accompanied by the Tangiers and Casablanca port directors, maritime authority representatives and the head of the Moroccan export association. They met the mayors and regional politicians during tours of the Marseilles and Fos harbour areas, followed by dinner at the Marseilles Provence chamber of commerce.
The next stage of the initiative is set for September 23-26 when the port’s promotional body Via Marseilles Fos leads a trade mission to Tangiers and Casablanca.