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News from Marseille Fos

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View of the Marseilles port passenger terminal

Marseille hails Morocco Express benefits

The new Morocco Express ro-ro service launched by CMA CGM on October 21 has been welcomed by the Marseille Fos port authority as a time-saving and eco-friendly alternative route between Morocco and southern Europe.

The service’s three loops include two covering Marseille, each year-round and with a capacity of 180 trailers per sailing.  Loop 1 serves Casablanca and Tangier with three departures per week, while Loop 2 offers a twice-weekly link between Tangier, Marseille and Genoa.

Quoting a 36-hour transit time from Tangier to the French port, Marseille-based CMA CGM said the service combined speed and environmental advantages compared with road transit through Spain, saving 64,000 tons of CO2 per year for a 43% cut in emissions.

Marseille Fos added: “This is a maritime autoroute offering a viable alternative to road transport in terms of capacity, cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits.  It’s a true gain for our hinterland’s shippers and logistics providers and a significant step towards reducing emissions.”                         

Giant ro-ro ramp opens in Fos

The largest ro-ro ramp in France is now operational at Fos following a €2.7 million eight-month build that was managed by the Marseille Fos port authority in support of a mammoth nuclear energy construction project.

With a total weight capacity of 880 tonnes, including payloads of up to 600 tonnes, the ramp was specifically designed for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project in Cadarache, southern France.  Work at the site started in 2013 and will require delivery of some 200 exceptional loads over the next six years.  Priority will be given to this traffic but the ramp will also be available for other heavy loads.

The ITER initiative involves 35 countries including the European Union nations, the US, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Marseille Fos joins port-city mission

Marseille Fos has become the world’s 14th port to sign the Port Center Mission Charter initiated by the international port-city association AIVP.  The charter encourages engagement between a port and local citizens through objectives such as public open days, making young people aware of port-related professions and supporting the development of a maritime-urban culture.

Two areas in the port-industrial zone will be designated as port centers by the end of the year – one at Fos-sur-Mer, which is currently operational but being completely modernised, and the other at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhone in a new space near the Fos container terminals and Fos Distriport.  Meanwhile studies are under way to establish a third center in Marseille in the medium term.

Citizen survey backs port’s progress

Public approval of the port of Marseille Fos has risen sharply according to the port authority’s latest image survey among neighbouring citizens.  The findings were attributed to significant growth in container throughput, logistics activity and passenger numbers, coupled with improved reliability since the French port reforms of 2008-2010.

Compared with feedback from the previous poll in 2011:

  • 87% of respondents think the port is thriving – a 27% increase
  • 84% believe the port is evolving well (+19%)
  • 77% agree the port is investing in economic development and job creation (+18%)
  • 71% perceive the port as competitive with European rivals (+38%)
  •  86% feel generally confident about the port’s future (+21%)

The port greeted the results as ‘real encouragement’ for its efforts to work in the interests of employees, partners and the region as a whole.


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