24 March 2015 – Port news from Marseille Fos
Marseille Fos has started to handle weekly banana imports from the Ivory Coast under a new reefer container deal worth 80 teu per week.
Operated by CMA CGM, the first call was on March 23 and follows a decision by the Canavese Group, a leading French fruit and vegetables specialist, to return to the Marseille eastern harbour area after years of shipping through Antwerp. The group said that the economic logic of serving southern France via Marseille had been supported by renewed client confidence in the port’s capacity, reliability and service quality regarding perishable products.
The port authority added that the switch also reflected CMA CGM’s wish to attract new volumes to Marseille on the back of sweeping market developments in Africa. The traffic is being handled by stevedores Intramar at the Med Europe terminal.
Last year fruit and vegetables throughput at Marseille Fos totalled almost 0.55million tonnes – a 6.5% increase on 2013 – with some 40% passing through the eastern harbour area.
Canavese operates seven regional depots in France and four production sites in Africa as well as three ripening centres.
New rail shuttle to link Marseille Fos box terminals
The container terminals at Marseille and Fos are to be linked by a daily rail shuttle starting on May 11. Operator Railliner – part of the Eurorail/Regiorail group – will offer a direct service on the 76km route between the eastern docks at the heart of the city and the Fos western harbour area. The same shuttle will also link these facilities with the Clesud combined transport terminal at Miramas.
The port authority said the service responded to demand for daily inter-terminal transfers and would increase the efficiency of pre- and post-forwarding via rail and waterways, make customs clearance easier and bring financial and environmental benefits by significantly reducing road haulage.
The latest shuttle is in line with the port’s strategy to coordinate both local and long-distance traffic flows. There are already 18 rail services per week at Fos and 14 at Marseille as well as six inland waterways options that are promoted through the Medlink Ports partnership. The port also features in two major multimodal corridors within the European Union’s TEN-T network.
Marseille shines among top Med cruise ports
Figures just published by the MedCruise ports association show that Marseille is now the Mediterranean’s fifth-largest cruise port by passenger numbers and also the fastest-growing.
The French port’s 2014 throughput saw it rise from sixth place in the annual Top 10 table with a total of 1, 311, 284 cruise passengers – up 10.4% on 2013. For the second year running, this was the biggest increase among the top ten ports, seven of which returned falling numbers.
The top four held their positions with Barcelona in first place on 2.36 million passengers (-9%), followed by Civitavecchia (2.1m, -15.7%), Venice (1.7m, -4.5%) and the Balearics (1.6m, +3%).
Marseille reached fifth rank a year ahead of the target set by the Marseille Provence Cruise Club, the development and promotional body formed in 1996 by the port authority, the chamber of commerce and city authorities. Passenger numbers have risen 87.3% from the 700, 000 recorded in 2010 – compared to the top four’s respective increases of 0.6%, 10%, 7.2% and 2.6% over the period.
Growth has been supported by developments such as the Marseille Provence Cruise Terminal, which opened last April and can handle seven ships at a time, and the 2013 launch of a facility reserved for luxury vessels less than 200 metres long.
This year the port is forecasting throughput of more than 1.5 million cruise passengers, with a third of them coming from home port calls. Numbers will be boosted by the arrival of two Royal Caribbean International vessels – Anthem of the Seas in April, followed in May by Allure of the Seas, the world’s biggest cruise ship.
Press enquiries: Paul Ellis, Direct Public Relations, UK +44 (0)1923 260960