Marseilles Fos has initiated a promotional partnership with eight inland ports serving its crucial north-south hinterland along the Rhone-Saone corridor.

The Med Link Ports partners include the multimodal platforms of Pagny, Chalon, Macon, Villefranche, Lyons, Valence, Avignon-Le Pontet and Arles, which provide access to and from the Mediterranean seaport's global services via a network of rail and river services. 

Formed with backing from inland waterways authority Voies Navigables de France, the partnership responds to Marseilles Fos growth plans - such as the Fos 2XL container terminal development - as well as political initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions by offering environmentally friendly alternatives to road haulage.

In 2007 Marseilles Fos handled six million tonnes of Rhone-Saone rail and river cargo. The 3.3MT rail total included container traffic of 127,000 teu, representing 13% of the port's overall throughput of just over 1m teu. Waterways traffic totalled 2.7MT - marking a 60% increase since 2002 - and included container volumes of 60,000 teu, or 6.1% of the port total.

For port images, see Espace presse/Phototheque at www.marseille-port.fr.