Marfret strengthens its position in the Caribbean

Marfret is continuing its development in the Caribbean with the strengthening of its French West Indies line which geographical coverage has been extended to an “Intracar” loop from Central America to the French West Indies.

Following a successful launch of the new Medcar service, the French West Indies service is getting an upgrade with the deployment of six vessels capable of carrying 3,500 containers (replacing 4 x 2,200 TEUs units) including 850 reefer units each. These container ships are deployed on the following rotation: Dunkirk, London, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Montoir, Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, Moin, Cartagena, Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre and Dunkirk.

The engineering of this new rotation contributes to supplying the French West Indies with Latin American fruits through an intra-Caribbean loop dedicated to refrigerated cargo. “In return from Costa Rica, we are six days from Martinique. Marfret also transports fresh products, fish and fruit from Colombia, Peru and Chile. The two weekly calls in the ports of Guadeloupe and Martinique are connected to the Marfret Ferrymar service, which also serves Saint-Martin,” says Guillaume Vidil, Managing Director of Marfret.

Another new feature is the rotation of Intracar and North West Indies services, which opens the doors to the British market. With London included in the itinerary, Marfret supplies a taste of Caribbean products to the British!

Marfret offers some of the best transit times on the market between Central America, the French West Indies and Northern Europe (and vice versa), linking Cartagena (Colombia) to Dunkirk in 14 days or Le Havre to Pointe-à-Pitre in just 11 days.

Marfret takes delivery of 424 reefer containers

 “To meet the needs of our customers exporting sensitive goods, such as avocado and pineapple, we provide them with the latest generation of equipment and continue to invest in our reefer fleet, which we have just increased by 424 brand new 40′ high cube containers,” explains Guillaume Vidil. The boxes, delivered to Costa Rica, add to Marfret’s reefer fleet, which now stands at 7000 TEUs.



FluvioFeeder Armement (FFA), a subsidiary of Marfret, launched a new weekly rail service between the Rouen Container terminal (managed by its stevedoring subsidiary SOMAP) and the Bonneuil sur Marne terminal in eastern Paris on October 3rd .

The new rail shuttle is connected to the operations of the “Lydia”, Marfret’s river-coastal vessel, to combine with the river service already provided by our company between Port 2000 in Le Havre and Rouen. Thus, the cargo arrives from Le Havre via the Seine; in Rouen, it is loaded onto the train that links Bonneuil within a few hours.

Rouen at the heart of the Seine corridor

The launch of this shuttle is part of the Marfret group’s strategy to build a global multimodal offer centred in Rouen: Guillaume VIDIL, Managing Director of Marfret emphasized the importance of this strategy as he explained, “The purpose of the Rouen-Hub set up by our company is to offer shippers and receivers a remote logistics service covering all container-related services (warehousing, repairs, reefer processing area, gas measurements, etc.) on a single terminal. Our objective is to enable our customers to optimize their flow via a high-performance tool and to achieve savings since we offer a higher demurrage allowance than practiced in maritime terminals. Freight can also be stored in our warehouses next to our terminal and then transported by the most appropriate mode of transport as and when the customers’ needs dictate “

With this rail shuttle, Marfret is fully in line with HAROPA’s strategy for the container/logistics sector in Rouen, which aims to strengthen Rouen in its role as a multimodal hub and to develop a more efficient and sustainable supply chain through economies of scale:

“HAROPA is delighted to support Marfret in its desire to develop multimodal solutions in Rouen,” explains Pascal Gabet, General Manager of HAROPA – Port of Rouen, “and to continue, with this recognized transport brand, to build new exchange routes between the ports of the Seine axis”.

Two to three weekly roundtrips planned by 2021

If the rail service is successful, Marfret plans to create a second trip per week and then three in 2021 by extending the train from 530m to 750m in length, the equivalent of about 60 trucks. At the same time, the company will continue to serve Gennevilliers by river. The idea is to ensure a trade-off between river and rail according to the catchment area and customer needs, whilst reducing road congestion.




Marfret, Art sponsor

The artist Yvan Salomone boarded the Marfret Guyane on October 10, for a 42-day trip. A double crossing of the Atlantic, to meet our crews aboard and our teams ashore, to the rhythm of the ship’s calls. Welcome on board!

Yvan Salomone is a French painter, born in 1957 in Saint-Malo, where he lives and works.

Since 1991, he has been producing watercolours in the same 133cm x 97cm format. His work initially focused on port landscapes in Dunkirk, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Dakar, New York, Shanghai, etc. but after port areas were closed to the public in the early 2000s, his scope opened to other places, such as industrial areas. His residency within our company will reopen the doors of the maritime and port universe to him.

The singularity of his work lies in the encounter between the technique of water colour, which at first sight could be described as outdated and nostalgic, and a highly contemporary approach.

Some of his paintings are currently being presented at the Mucem* in Marseille, as part of the exhibition Connectivités, a history of the Mediterranean’s great port cities.

Since 2007, Marfret has welcomed an artist in residence every two years on land, in its offices and at sea on board its ships. For Marfret, the residence is a meeting between the artist and our resident teams and our crews.

The work created from the residence is then exhibited and presented at the port community chosen by Marfret and the artist, from amongst the places included in the ship’s itinerary. Yvan Salomone’s work will be exhibited in French Guiana where our ships have been calling every week for over 35 years. Like every Marfret residency, it will also result in the publication of a catalogue and calendar.

This residency will allow Yvan Salomone to discover a world still full of mystery for the layman, an adventure he has chosen not only to paint – he will make 13 water colours – but also to film, which will be a first for the artist, drawing his inspiration from Allan Sekula’s work.

With this art residency, Marfret is pursuing its desire to open its activity to other horizons and to offer our staff and port communities a new approach to our profession, through the eye of the artist.

* Museum of the civilizations of Europe end the Mediterranean