Frequency on the three-per-week container barge service between Fos and Lyon is to be increased to five departures each way, five days per week, from October 2018 to meet growing demand for pre- and post-forwarding river links between the French Mediterranean and the Rhone-Saone hinterland.
Backed by container lines CMA CGM, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd, the enhancement follows collaboration between the Marseille Fos and Lyon Terminal port authorities, Fos container terminal operators Port Synergy-Eurofos and Seayard, barge operators Greenmodal and Logi Ports Shuttle and inland waterways authorities Voies Navigables de France (VNF) and Compagnie Nationale du Rhone (CNR).
Marketing of the upgraded service will be overseen by Medlink Ports, the promotional association formed in 2008 by Marseille Fos, neighbouring seaport Sete and nine inland ports together with VNF and CNR.
The Medlink network handled 103m tonnes of cargo in 2017 to confirm its position as the premier seaport/river port partnership in France.
For 2018-19 Medlink’s three-pronged strategy will focus on strengthening relations with economic players in the Med-Rhone-Saone axis including private and public enterprises, forwarders, operators and regional authorities; putting multi-modality at the heart of the membership’s transport offering to attract a larger hinterland; and creating a united vision of the network’s role as a major logistics platform.
Over recent months the association has also decided to widen its multimodal scope by encouraging participation from rail partners in order to maximise the range of transport solutions.
Meanwhile, ten shipping companies have qualified for reduced port dues at Marseille Fos after cutting air emissions below regulatory requirements during the past year.
The incentive was introduced in July 2017 after the port authority joined the World Ports Climate Initiative and adopted its Environmental Ship Index (ESI), which has been implemented by some 50 ports handling more than a quarter of the global fleet.
Based on 109 calls over the past 12 months, an awards ceremony was held to acknowledge the qualifying companies – cruise operators Costa and MSC and container carriers CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, MSC, OOCL and Yang Ming.