The first two gantry cranes arrived Dec. 20 at Marseille-Fos for Fos2XL, a two million TEU-a-year container terminal jointly-owned by French ocean carrier CMA CGM and Dubai-based global port operator DP World. The terminal is due to start operations in early 2011.
The two super post-Panamax cranes have a capacity of 100 tons each and can reach across 22 rows of containers, which will enable the terminal to handle the world's largest container vessels.
In the first phase, the 124-acre Terminal de la Mediterranee will have five gantry cranes and an 2,756-foot quay with a draft of 46 to 52 feet able to simultaneously handle two 13,000 TEU-plus ships.
By The Numbers: Asia-Europe Westbound Container Traffic.
Portsynergy, a joint venture between Marseille-based CMA CGM and DP World, signed a contract in 2006 to build and operate the terminal for 35 years. The terminal is due to start commercial operations in March 2011.
CMA CGM said the terminal, which will double Marseille's container capacity, "marks the starting point for the redevelopment of this port to service French and European markets."
Marseille is France's second largest container port and 15th largest in Europe but ranks only 102 in the world, CMA CGM said.
"We are pleased to be the first to operate in Fos2XL," said Farid Salem, CMA CGM Executive Officer.
"CMA CGM is Fos' biggest customer with three weekly services to Asia and North America. This new terminal will allow us to handle an extra 2 million TEUs," Salem said.
Portsynergy is France's leading container stevedore with its main terminals in Marseille and Le Havre handling over 2 million TEUs in 2010.
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