Marseille expects North African growth

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Volumes at Marseille Provence Airport remained the same in 2015 but cargo manager, Jean-Marc Boutigny is expecting strong growth for 2016, helped by increased services to North Africa.

Boutigny tells Air Cargo Week that in 2015, airfreight fell two per cent to 52,000 tonnes, mail remained the same at 3,900 tonnes and road feeder service increased by four per cent to 20,000 tonnes.

For 2016, he is expecting seven per cent growth due to increasing express traffic to Algeria and Tunisia.

Boutigny says: “Marseille Provence is the Western Mediterranean cargo hub and we are actually developing our network adding a new cargo route [Marseille – Algiers – Marseille] four days a week thanks to DHL.”

“[We are] benefitting [from] bigger daily airfreight capacities to link Brittany to Provence thanks to ASL Airlines France and French Post.”

In January, DHL Express inaugurated its new eight million euro ($8.9 million) hub with 3,000 square metres of warehouse space, 300 square metres of office space and 4,200 square metres of outdoor space.

The new DHL facility has triple the capacity of the old one, capable of handling up to 5,500 pieces per hour.

When DHL opened the facility, it said between 2014 and 2015, the number of pieces handled for import and export increased by 20 per cent, mainly due to growing traffic to Tunisia and Malta.

At the time, DHL Express France chief executive officer, Michel Akavi said: “Our Marseille hub plays a crucial role in our exchanges with North Africa.

“By increasing both human and material resources to handle this traffic, we are responding to the growth in volume and providing additional quality of service to our customers.”