French port Marseille Fos handled a record box throughput of 1.4 million TEU in 2017 which was the sixth consecutive year of growth for the port.
As informed, box throughput was boosted by a 10% volume increase at the Fos deepsea terminals and by three new services at Marseille.
Container tonnage was up 10% on 13 million tons, driving the general cargo total to 20.4 million tons, a rise of 11%.
The port’s overall cargo volume was 8% higher across all main categories excluding liquid bulks, which dipped 5% to 46.5 million tons.
According to the port authority, the loss was balanced by the general cargo result and a 5% rise in dry bulks to 13.6 million tons, leaving total cargo throughput on a par with 2016 at almost 81 million tons.
With passenger numbers similarly stable on 2.7 million, the port authority said that 2017 had demonstrated a “winning strategy” of diversification combined with infrastructure projects.
Furthermore, the port’s turnover increased by 7.3% to EUR 160 million (USD 197.6 million) in 2017.
The 2017 investment total of EUR 47.8 million included EUR 15 million on the maintenance of existing infrastructure. New project expenditure included EUR 14.6 million to enlarge the Marseille harbour area’s Passe Nord access for cruise and ferry vessels, the EUR 2.5 million ferry terminals upgrade, the EUR 2.3 million installation of an 800-ton capacity project cargo RoRo ramp in Fos and the commissioning of dry dock 10.
Key projects planned for 2018, with a budget of EUR 82 million, include the launch of works to connect the two Fos container terminals via a quay extension, and improvements to the Marseille and Fos railheads.
The port said it is continuing with environmental initiatives, including further ‘cold ironing’ facilities for ferries, installation of 16,000m2 of solar panels in the Marseille harbour, reduced port dues for “green” vessels under the Environmental Ship Index and membership of the LNG Focus Group under which major world ports are working to promote LNG as a marine fuel.