French port Marseilles Fos is aiming to play a link role in cargo bound from Belgium to North Africa and the Middle East following a presentation in Antwerp on May 15 to freight forwarders from Europe’s second biggest port.
In a first-time initiative to attract business sourced in Antwerp, the meeting was hosted by promotional body Via Marseille Fos (VMF), which represents the port authority, port professionals and the chamber of commerce. More than 20 Antwerp forwarders attended, including their association president, and were said to have expressed ‘real potential and interest’ in developing ties for Mediterranean trades.
The VMF delegation, which included personnel from ten local companies, highlighted the competitive transit times available from Marseilles Fos due to extensive maritime and rail connections - five daily services to the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, supported by 12 trains per week linking Antwerp to the port. Plans are now in the pipeline for the forwarders to make a follow-up visit.
The meeting coincided with the Breakbulk Europe 2014 exhibition in Antwerp. At the event, VMF was joined by stevedores Sosersid and Eurofos to showcase the port’s two breakbulk/project cargo terminals and the inland waterways network offered by Medlink Ports, the partnership involving Marseilles Fos with nine inland ports on the 600km Rhone-Saone axis.