The Marseilles port saw a 15% drop in cargo traffic in the first six months of 2020 on the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has nevertheless decided to push ahead with planned investment. Adding in the drop in passengers, a -20% reduction is expected by the end of the year. The Provence newspaper reports that Marseilles port board chairman Herve Martel said that cargo traffic had dropped by 15% to 33.6 million tons, 6 million tons less than seen in the first half of 2019.
Two sectors were hit especially hard by the pandemic: cargo traffic, which dropped by 15% with container traffic the worst, as well as solid bulk, which has suffered from a market-wide decline from the activities of the Arcelor Mittal steelworks. A sharp drop was also seen in the passenger sector. Traffic for Corsica and North Africa stopped during the lockdown but has now resumed for Corsica and Tunisia but not Algeria. Cruises are still suspended.
The port, Martel said, expects to see ”a drop in revenue of about 20%” this year and is bringing in some commercial measures for its customers to benefit from, with a reduction in port tariffs of as much as 50%. The port intends, however, to go ahead with most of its planned private investment, some 57 million euros, including through the use of loans. Work on the future terminal for international ferries in Cape Janet will thus begin as expected at the end of this summer.