The port authority hailed the result as a symbolic step towards increasing traffic to 2m teu from 2010, when two new terminals are due on stream as part of the Fos 2XL development. Construction work started last autumn.
Ro-ro traffic grew 6% on 2006 to reach 4.3m tonnes, while cruise passengers beat a 400,000 target with a 10% increase to 415,000. Although general cargo and liquid bulks also rose (by 6% and 5% respectively) total cargo throughput failed to reach the 100m tonnes registered in 2006, slipping 3.7% to 96.3m tonnes.
The port expects a return to overall growth in 2008, with a predicted total cargo volume of around 102m tonnes. By 2011, cargo volumes should rise by a further 30m tonnes, following the completion of various other industrial developments authorised since 2001.
Meanwhile, a new generation of projects received the go-ahead in 2007, including the Fos 3XL and Fos 4XL container terminals, a new methane terminal supported by Shell and major investments in the refined oil products and dry bulk sectors. These projects represent a combined additional traffic potential of 25m tonnes by 2014–15. In 2007 the port authority approved investments worth €87.6m, as Marseille continued to position itself as a southern European version of Rotterdam.