Port news from Marseilles Fos

News, Ports & Terminals — By on March 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Part of the Fos container terminal

Growth boom for Fos logistics parks

Logistics facilities at leading French port Marseilles Fos are set for further major expansion with a new 200, 000m2 multimodal park from specialist property developer the IDEC/LIFE group.

Due to be fully operational within five years, the park isbeing built on a 40-hectare former chemicals site in the Feuillane area of theFos port-industrial zone.  The site was occupied by Basell Fos until last July and will now be converted as a base for High Quality Environmental-accredited warehouses.

The 200-hectare Feuillane area has capacity for 800, 000m2 of warehousing and is less than 15km from the Fos container terminals.  Current occupiers include IKEA and Maisons du Monde.  The port’s other logistics zone, Distriport, is alongside the Fos box hub on a 143-hectare site with roomfor 600, 000m2 of warehouses.

More than 200, 000m2 of warehousing was added tothe sites in 2011.  The port authority said top shippers and logistics providers had been attracted by last year’s implementation of national port reforms, while the Fos 2XL container terminals development – which came fully on stream earlier this month – was now an added boost for 2012.

Newcomers announced for Distriport in 2011 included Maisons du Monde, Mattel and Geodis, who join established users such as Schenker, SDVand Volvic-Evian.  Meanwhile furniture distributor Mobilier Europeen launched studies into expanding its 18, 000m2 operation and planning permission was granted for a 36, 000m2 development by Groupe Charles Andre and a 70, 000m2 scheme by Nexity on behalf of CEVA, each due to open this year.

In addition, the port authority launched a tender in January for a 50-70, 000m2 cold store in Feuillane dedicated to food stuffs.

11th partner for Medlink waterways initiative   

The Medlink Ports partnership formed four years ago linking Marseilles Fos and nine trimodal ports on the 550km Rhone-Saone inland waterways network has been joined by the seaport of Sete.

The Marseilles Fos port authority welcomed the move as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation in promoting waterways transport for containers, dry and liquid bulks and outsize cargo in a hinterland of 14 million inhabitants.  It stressed that the waterways option provided a key differentiation for the French Mediterranean ports compared with rivals in the southern Europe range.

Medlink Ports was launched with the support of inland waterways authority Voies Navigables de France.  The inland platforms include Pagny, Chalon, Macon, Villefranche-sur-Saone, Lyons, Vienne-Sud/Salaise-Sablons, Valence, Avignon-Le Pontet and Arles.  Traffic growth on the network was marked last year by a 12% increase in container volumes to 70, 000 teu.

The multi-purpose port of Sete is ranked tenth in France with annual throughput of more than 3.6 million tonnes.  Volumes grew by 6%last year following several years of upgrading equipment.  The port says that, by joining Medlink, it is now ready to take advantage of the modernisation of the adjoining Canal du Rhone.

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