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Published: 15 May 2017      

General cargo leads at Marseille Fos

Q1 2017 cargo throughput at Marseille Fos was marked by strong growth in general cargo, which totalled 4.98 Mt, up 11% year-on-year

The three-month cargo total across all sectors finished 3% down on 19.56 Mt.

Container numbers rose 5% overall and by 7% at the deepsea Fos terminals to reach 329,947 TEU, representing an 8% tonnage increase to 3.26 Mt. Ro-ro volumes improved 11% to top 1 Mt, with trailer units up 10% on 46,188 and import/export cars stable on 38,160. Meanwhile conventional trades jumped 22% to 0.7 Mt on the back of steel products.

Dry bulks, largely based on ore imports for the steel industry, increased 11% in March to finish the quarter 1% ahead on 3.41Mt – signalling a recovery from the 2016 slowdown caused by China’s global dumping of cheap steel, the conversion of coal-fired plants to biomass fuel and a poor harvest. With steel-related traffic down 4% to 2.13 Mt and agro-bulks 67% down at 0.06 Mt, the result was driven by a 25% increase in other bulks to 1.22 Mt.

Liquid bulks, dominated by oil & gas volumes, dropped 10% to 11.17 Mt. The oil and gas total of 10.44 Mt was also down 10% as refinery conversion and maintenance projects saw crude imports fall 25% to 5.2 Mt. In contrast, refined products soared 22% to 3.29 Mt, LNG added 5% for 1.24 Mt and LPG was up 4% on 0.7 Mt. Liquid chemicals and agro-products also contributed 0.7 Mt, a 12% fall reflecting a five-yearly maintenance shutdown at the Kem One plant.

  • XPO Logistics is to start operations at the end of this year from a new 45,000 m2 warehouse in the port's Feuillane logistics zone. The company will be servicing household and multimedia products distributor Electro Depot from the first warehouse in a 185,000 m2 scheme by developer Idec Life. Adjoining the Fos container terminals, the 364,000m2 capacity Feuillane zone has 149,000 m2 in current operation and 215,000 m2 in the development and marketing stage. Meanwhile the nearby 575,000 m2 Fos Distriport has 375,000m2 in use and 215,000 m2 in the pipeline. Added to the XPO site, a 60,000 m2 Distriport project agreed in January with developer Wlife means that warehouse expansion at the port in Q1 2017 has already outstripped last year’s 70,000 m2 total, with more to be announced in Q2.
  • The port authority has opened a truck service area close to the container terminals and Distriport logistics park in Fos. Open 24/7, the Mat de Ricca facility at Port Saint Louis du Rhône features the region’s first truck-dedicated natural gas filling station, developed by Proviridis under the Vgas brand name.

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