The Mediterranean Sea, cradle of civilizations and strategic axis for the movement of people and goods from both East and West, will soon have its verb. “To Mediterranean” has been submitted to the French Academy by the Art Revue Tête-à-Tête and we hope that it will soon appear in the dictionary.

Every day, we experience both otherness and proximity together as we move from one culture and another. As the Mediterranean Sea, so precious to Fernand Braudel, opens up to distant civilizations via the straits of Gibraltar, the Bosporus and the Suez Canal, to ‘Mediterranean’ is a verb not limited to the geographical area to which it refers.

To mediterranean is to put all your hopes on the other side, to migrate. This new verb means to feel a deep attachment to the shores of the Mediterranean, to feel at home there. It was in the spirit of this meaning that in 1951, Claude Vidil founded Marseille Fret and embarked on the adventure of tramp shipping across the Mediterranean – Algeria Tunisia, Libya, Middle East, Red Sea.

In 1987, he passed the torch onto his two sons and sent us to go ‘mediterraneaning’ elsewhere. Patiently, we have built new regular liner routes with Marfret on the major north-south maritime axes. With its containers, Marfret provides a direct and multimodal service.

For many years, Marfret has also been “méditerraneaning” in the Caribbean with Ferrymar and in the Pacific Islands. The sea is the path to the world, a playground for shipowners dedicated to strengthening commercial and cultural ties between continents. Maritime transport is not only a change of place, it is also a change of mind.

Our successful anchoring in Central and Latin America is the result of this desire for mutual understanding across cultures. Last November, Marfret invited our Colombian clients to discover “Romeo and Juliet”, performed by the Ballet Preljocaj in Bogota and Medellin.

Thirty-one years after the creation of Marfret, our family business has reached a new milestone. On the bridge, Guillaume Vidil has now taken the watch.

As the third generation of Vidils at the helm, he becomes the transformation of the company at a time and in a context where the values of family centred capitalism can act as a bulwark in defense against the troubles introduced by the globalization of our economies, which has faced much criticism both at home and abroad.

Guillaume Vidil, Managing Director of Marfret, will be able to continue the family legacy: its entrepreneurial spirit and without a doubt will also mediterranean in every sense!

Raymond VIDIL