The volume of containers handled by the Port of Marseilles Fos grew 14 percent in the first half year year-over-year, while the twin ports’ overall tonnage fell because of shrinking oil volume.
The port’s supervisory board announced the selection of a consortium of four companies to develop and operate a combined transport hub alongside the Med Europe container terminal near the Marseilles harbor.
Container throughout reached 520,132 20-foot equivalent units, fueled by a 58 percent jump in trade with the Americas, a 10 percent increase in Mediterranean trade and 8.6 percent in trade with Asia.
Container volume at the Fos container terminals rose 18 percent to 400,000 TEUs, and the Marseilles terminal volume increased 2 percent to 120,000 TEUs.
Following a request for bids, the port agency awarded the transport hub contract to a group consisting of Progenor, a Credit Agricole subsidiary specializing in multimodal platform projects; and three of the port’s established transport providers — CMA Rail, T3M and SNCF Geodis subsidiary Naviland Cargo.
The facility, which has an estimated cost of $73 million, will provide a single rail-road interface that serves Mediterranean- Europe container trades and also traffic displaced from a smaller combined transport terminal that is being redeveloped under the Euromediterranee urban renovation scheme.
The new hub will be able to handle 150,000 containers annually, doubling capacity for railborne traffic in the Marseilles port zone and helping to reduce the current 85 percent balance of containers transported by road.
Investment in the 25-acre site will cover the lengthening of rail lines, road improvements, construction of a container depot and the purchase of railhead gantry cranes.
Negotiations on co-financing and the operating agreement are under way and due to be completed by the end of the year.