Despite a dip in oil volumes, cargo throughput at the Port of Marseille Fos in the first half of 2017 rose 2% on January-June last year to 39.9 million tons, driven by growth in all three general cargo sectors – containers, RoRo and conventional traffic.
During the six-month period, container traffic was up 7% overall – and by 10% at the deep-sea Fos terminals. Container volumes stood at 667,865 TEU, which included a historical monthly record of 119,700 TEU in April.
The increase saw box tonnage rise 10% to 6.6MT and carried the general cargo total to a 12% improvement on 10.3MT.
RoRo volumes were 8% better at 2.2MT, boosted by Corsica traffic – which rose 19% to 1.2MT – and 17% growth in handling 107,904 import/export vehicles.
Conventional trades continued to benefit from soaring imports and exports of steel products to contribute a 32% increase on 1.5MT.
What is more, dry bulks finished 4% ahead for the period on 6.8MT. The total was underpinned by ore imports for the steel industry, which edged up 1% to 4.6MT.
Other bulks continued to shine with 34% growth for 2.1MT, but agro-bulks slumped 79% to 0.9MT.
Additionally, liquid bulks fell 2% to 22.8MT after mixed results for oil & gas volumes, which ended 3% down on a total of 21.2MT.
Refinery conversion and maintenance shutdowns left crude imports 13% short on 10.6MT. Against this, refined products gained 14% for 6.8MT, LNG was stable on 2.6MT and LPG rose 11% to 1.1MT. Liquid chemicals and agro-products improved 8% to 1.6MT.
Finally, passenger throughput was up 1% on 977,000, which included a rise of 8% to 377,000 on Corsica and North Africa ferry services.
Cruise numbers slipped 3% but hit 600,000 by the end of June with the help of the first call by giant MSC newbuild Meraviglia, which can accommodate an average of 5,500 passengers per call.