The Marseille-headquartered MEDports Association – founded five months ago by 20 Mediterranean port authorities – has set out a 2019 activity roadmap including the adoption of common key performance indicators and a ‘single window’ cargo community system.
Other objectives include the extension of on-shore power supply for ships, a training program to be developed by members’ training institutes and the launch of an association website next spring to enhance the ports’ international visibility.
The action plan was approved on November 26-27, when Italian port Civitavecchia hosted the association’s second general assembly immediately after the first meeting of the executive committee, which was formed at the inaugural assembly in Marseille late last June.
Three major international meetings are already scheduled for 2019 – a spring meeting with the European corridors coordinators, a MEDports forum in Marseille in June and a presentation to European institutions in Brussels in the autumn.
Members approved the 2018 activity report, which also included the formation of special committees on issues such as training, the environment, safety, security, market analysis and Smart Port development. They also accepted membership applications from the port of Cartagena and the Ports of Catalonia group managed by the Catalan government.
The association derives from a Medports forum organised by the Marseille Fos port authority in 2016 to explore ways of sharing best practice on mutual challenges and opportunities. The current membership ranges across ten countries – Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain and Tunisia.
Box growth prompts plan for Fos service zone extension
The Marseille Fos port authority is planning a major extension of Fos service facilities for empty containers and haulage contractors following ‘saturation’ demand due to mounting box throughput.
Container traffic grew 15% between 2012 and 2016, reached 1.4 million teu in 2017 and is on target for 1.5m teu in 2018. Storage, repair, maintenance and cleaning of empty containers is currently based in a 21-hectare port services zone, which also provides parking and amenities for trucks and trailers.
To ensure capacity for future volume growth, a second service zone is now planned by 2020, with 28 hectares devoted to empty containers and 20 hectares supporting haulage and intermodal road/rail activities.
A consultation process on the initiative has been launched with a public meeting explaining how the impact of traffic growth on local roads will be minimised. Apart from supporting intermodal development, the service zone works will also incorporate improved access to the container terminals.