The Port of Marseilles Authority
(PMA) has briefed unions and staff on government plans for the ‘re-launch’ of French ports - as required by a timetable for local consultations at each port before parliament considers the legal framework this spring.
PMA director-general Guy Janin outlined
the aims and procedure this week at press conferences in Marseilles and Paris detailing the port’s 2007 results, which set new records for general cargo – including containers – and passenger volumes.
Janin confirmed that, following a government announcement on January 15, the port had held initial meetings to inform personnel of the broad proposals for improving performance and competitiveness at the nation’s ports – which includes a collective target of handling ten million teu of container traffic by 2015.
He added that further meetings were due in early February, including consultation across the range of port interests, ahead of a mid-February deadline for putting propositions to the transport minister.
Meanwhile he reported that a record 17.4 million tonnes of general cargo was among the highlights of 2007 activity. Representing a 6% increase on 2006, the figure included further records of 10.1MT for containers (+8.3%) – where annual traffic topped one million teu for the first time - and 4.3MT (+6%) for RoRo freight.
Passenger volumes set two more records, with 2.04 million overall (+0.6%) and, within this total, 429,000 (+14%) in the cruise sector.
Overall cargo throughput slipped 3.7% to 96.4MT due to a fall in oil and dry bulk volumes, but the PMA forecasts around 102MT in 2008 as new facilities like the Gaz de France GDF2 methane terminal come on stream.