France’s biggest sea port logged growth of 1% in 2018
Total cargo throughput grew 1% on 2017 to 81 Mt. Container traffic increased for the 7th consecutive year, by 2% to 1.4M TEU (13 Mt), while dry bulks traffic increased by 12% to 15.2 Mt.
Infrastructure development and maintenance spending of €60M featured further logistics park expansion. Alongside this, agreements were reached on major industrial implantations. The 2019 capex budget of €85M has earmarked €58M for development projects. These include ongoing work to link the two Fos container terminals via a quay extension, which is due for handover in April 2020.
With conventional traffic - mainly steel products breakbulk - down 11% on 2.4 Mt, the general cargo total was driven by container volumes amounting to 13 Mt. This was supported by ro-ro throughput including 203,000 trailers (+1%) and 214,700 import/export cars (+2%).
Box traffic was helped by new Canada and Middle East services from Maersk and the deployment of 14,000 TEU ships on THE Alliance’s MD2 service, boosting service capacity by 45%. Modal shift gained ground under the port’s ‘southern gateway to Europe’ strategy, with rail and river pre- and post-forwarding container moves up 2.4% to 223,800 TEU. Rail volumes increased by 5% overall – and by 10% through Fos - for a record 146,500 TEU.
Although waterways box traffic dipped 2.2% to 77,300 TEU, second-half throughput jumped 10% year-on-year following enhanced shuttle frequency.
The dry bulks performance again largely reflected strong steel industry demand for raw materials, which contributed 9.4 Mt (+1%). A notable increase in demand for construction materials boosted other ore and mineral bulks by 37% to 5.4 Mt. Agri-bulks rose 20% to 0.43 Mt thanks to cereals exports, which drove an overall increase of 31% in river traffic.