Port news from Marseille Fos 14 February 2017
Marseille Fos CEO signals wider vision in Medlink role
Marseille Fos CEO Christine Cabau Woehrel has called for a united approach to marketing hinterland rail and waterways connections after being named as 2017 chair of Medlink Ports – the promotional body for Rhone-Saone river services.
The association was formed in 2015 between Mediterranean ports Marseille Fos and Sete, waterways authority Voies Navigables de France, Compagnie Nationale du Rhone and the river ports of Lyon, Chalon-sur-Saone, Macon, Pagny, Villefranche-sur-Saone, Vienne Sud, Avignon le Pontet and Arles.
Since then a further 18 members have joined – river operators, stevedoring companies and regular shippers – and last year traffic reached 103 million tonnes to make Medlink the leading river-port trade group in France.
Speaking at her appointment ceremony, Mme. Cabau Woehrel outlined her vision to enhance the partnership by offering shippers ‘a multimodal palette’ of logistics solutions – notably in association with rail options – suggesting this would increase efficiency and boost national and international visibility. She also proposed forming a consultative strategic body with State and regional authorities to activate a 2016 government report on the benefits and competitiveness of the Med-Rhone-Saone axis.
Earlier Mme. Cabau Woehrel underlined the port’s key hinterland role when addressing some 3,000 delegates in Lyon at a trade event for small/medium enterprises. Noting that Marseille Fos was working to increase its current 55% share of the region’s exports, she said that three rail and three river services per day, as well as road links, offered Lyon shippers a natural gateway to the 158 countries served by the port. She stressed that transit times to Asia could be cut by up to five days compared with