Marseille Fos Keeps the Momentum

French port Marseille Fos handled 60.9 million tons of cargo in the first nine months of 2015 – up 4% on the same period last year – with passenger results boosted by a 14% rise in cruise numbers.

Container traffic gained four points in tonnage and unit terms on 8.8 MT and 915,036 TEUs, after further advances in both the Marseille and Fos harbor areas.

Deepsea volumes at Fos were helped in early September with the maiden call of the 14,000 TEU CSCL Venus following the company’s decision to increase capacity on its Asia-Mediterranean-Europe service.

“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,” a port spokesman said.

The container performance nudged general cargo to a 1% rise on 13.5 MT, which included 2.9 MT from ro-ro (+4%) and a 6% increase in new car imports/exports for a total of 126,747 vehicles.

Liquid bulk cargo finished four points better on 36.6 MT, driven by 4% growth in crude oil and petroleum products to 33.9 MT.

Dry bulk volumes repeated the 8% half-year increase to reach 10.8 MT for the nine months.

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, up 19%, and 362,000 home port passengers, up 5%.

Ferry passenger numbers fell 9% to 887,000 with a 2% rise on North Africa services outweighed by a continued 13% drop for Corsica.

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