Port news from Marseille Fos
Leading French port Marseille Fos has maintained its 2015 growth across all main business sectors with cargo throughput to the end of September totalling 60.9 million tonnes – up 4% on the first nine months last year – and passenger results boosted by a 14% rise in cruise numbers.
Container traffic gained four points in tonnage and unit terms on 8.8MT and 915, 036 teu after further advances in both the Marseille and Fos harbour areas. Deepsea volumes at Fos were helped in early September with the maiden call of the 14, 000 teu China Shipping Container Lines vessel Venus following the company’s decision to increase capacity on its Asia-Mediterranean-Europe service. A port spokesman said: “The CSCL initiative is another sign of customer confidence in our offer as a cost-effective southern gateway alternative for major markets across Europe. In addition we continue to gain market share in our natural hinterland, which is key at a time of static economic growth in Asia. Such progress will help to support various development projects in the pipeline for 2016.”
The container performance nudged general cargo to a 1% rise on 13.5MT, which included 2.9MT from ro-ro (+4%) and a 6% increase in new car imports/exports for a total of 126, 747 vehicles.
Liquid bulks finished four points better on 36.6MT, driven by 4% growth in crude oil and petroleum products to 33.9MT. Crude imports went up 6% at 19.6MT as refineries took further advantage of low prices. Their output balanced a consequent fall in imports of refined products, where total volumes held steady on 9.5MT. LPG soared 15% to 1.6 MT and LNG continued to close the deficit on last year to end the period three points down on 3.1MT. Liquid chemicals and agro-products slipped 3% to 2.7MT due to a cracker unit in Lavera being out of service for six weeks in early summer but the operation has since returned to normal.
Dry bulks repeated the 8% half-year increase to reach 10.8MT for the nine months, with steel industry volumes – mainly raw materials imports – improving 6% on 7.5MT. Agro-bulks fell 12% to 0.66MT but other bulks contributed 2.6MT (+21%). Notable growth at the Carfos terminal was marked by large coal and bauxite consignments and 15, 000t of spot traffic clinkers imports in September.
Passenger throughput was lifted 3% to 1.978 million thanks to the 14% rise in cruise numbers, which reached almost 1.1 million. This included 728, 000 passengers in transit (+19%) and 362, 000 home port passengers (+5%). Ferry carryings fell 9% to 887, 000 with a 2% rise on North Africa services outweighed by a continued 13% drop for Corsica.