The Western Mediterranean’s express hub remains stable

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Cargo volumes have remained stable at Marseille Provence Airport, cargo manager Jean-Marc Boutigny tells Air Cargo Week staff writer, James Muir.

The airport handled 36,896 tonnes of flown airfreight between January and the end of August, an improvement of 0.6 per cent on 2016.

This follows growth of 7.1 per cent in 2016, when it handled 55,900 tonnes. Express increased 7.8 per cent thanks to DHL and Chronopost reinforcing activities.

In the airport’s 2016 annual results it said Marseille maintained its place as the top of the podium of French regional airports and the Western Mediterranean region for express freight.

Boutigny expects perishable volumes to grow with new services, saying: “Thanks to the arrival of French airline Air Austral mid of October who will operate two weekly B777 on a Marseille-La Réunion island-Marseille route, we expect to develop our perishable volume by importing more fruits and vegetables and exporting more oysters and seafood.”

Express cargo continues to prove important, Boutigny explains: “In August 2017, DHL rented 1200 square metres more to be able to handle more quickly and easily its growing express volume.”

The main imports at Marseille are drilling parts from Texas, garments from China and seafood from Northern Africa. Exports mainly consist of helicopter spare parts to the Americas and Asia, vaccines and medicines to Algeria and oil supplies to Algeria.

The main markets continue to be Europe, Northern Africa, China and USA.

The UK’s departure from the European Union, dubbed ‘Brexit’, is an area of uncertainty, and could cause problems across Europe. Boutigny comments: “UK is an important market for us (import and export), and customs clearance charges and delays will not contribute to facilitate the business.”