Marseille-Fos Port

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Not to be confused with Old Port of Marseille.
Marseille Fos port
Marseille harbour mg 6383.jpg
Container ship in the east basin (Marseille)
Country France
Location Marseille, Fos-sur-Mer
Coordinates 43°12′11″N 5°12′04″E / 43.2031°N 5.2010°E / 43.2031; 5.2010
Opened 15th century (quays construction)
Type of harbor grand port maritime
Annual cargo tonnage Decrease 85.79 million tonnes (2012)[1]
Annual container volume Increase 1,062,408 TEU (2012)
Passenger traffic Increase 2.4 million (2012)

Marseille Fos port,[2] officially named in French Grand port maritime de Marseille (Great seaport of Marseille), is the main French trade seaport. In 2011 the port had an overall traffic of 88 million tons. It is also one of the 15 world largest cruise port, and the fifth in the mediterranean sea.

It is located in two main sites, in northern Marseille from La Joliette to l'Estaque and in Fos-sur-Mer, about 50 km (31 mi) north west of Marseille. The port generates 45,000 jobs and $4 billion euros of value added according to an OECD study.[1] The port is the biggest French port, the second biggest Mediterranean port and the 4th European port, making it the 41st port in the world in 2014, with 85 997 thousand tons of goods transported.


Historically the local port was the Old Port of Marseille. In the 1840s, maritime traffic becomes too intense for the Old Port capacities and an extension seemed necessary. As second port of France, the issue was too important and the decision escaped the city by the law of August 5, 1844. The government ordered the construction of the basin of la Joliette, at the north of the Old Port, through an ambitious project (13 million francs). The construction of the large mole used concrete blocks techniques. The Joliette infrastructures began to be used in 1847. The pool was fully completed in 1853.

The Development Council for the metropolitan area of Marseille-Provence has studied the creation of a technopole, or technoport, to redynamise the port activities. It would include the capacity to repair ships over 270 m (885 ft or 295 yd) long, offshore wind turbines and other innovative technologies.[3]

Traffic statistics[edit]

Port traffic
General cargo (tons) Containers (TEU) Passengers
2010 86 M 953,435 2.06 M
2011 88 M 944,047 2.3 M
2012 85.79 M 1,062,408 2.4 M
2014 78.52 M 1,179,910 2.5 M