Marfret and Xavier Macaire – a long-term partnership.

Having already sponsored the yachtsman in 2020 on the Solitaire du Figaro, Marfret has decided to renew its partnership with Xavier Macaire in 2022.

The collaboration takes on even more significance this year since, after winning the Drheam Cup last July, Xavier will be taking part in the Route du Rhum, which leaves Saint Malo on 6th November for Guadeloupe, an island we have been serving for more than 40 years. Who knows if he might even pass a Marfret ship in the middle of the Atlantic? One thing is for certain: it will be aboard one of them, the Marfret Niolon, that Xavier Macaire’s Class40 yacht will be travelling back to France after the race.

Beyond the financial and logistical support, the partnership is a moment of fruitful exchanges between the Marfret teams and Xavier Macaire and his crew. This was certainly the case on 7th September last, when our staff were treated to a day sailing with Xavier Macaire on his Class40, one that left them impressed with the yacht’s outstanding performance!

Marfret boosts presence in Belgium

The partnership with Neptumar will consolidate the shipping company’s position in Belgium.

Marfret has been serving Belgium for more than 30 years, both with its trans-Atlantic container services and, more recently, its roro MPV line, which calls at the port of Antwerp.

To consolidate its presence in Belgium, Marfret is reinforcing its partnership with Neptumar, part of the Menzell & Döhle Group, who will be responsible for managing operations and sales for all its port calls in Belgium. “With this extended cooperation with Neptumar, and the Menzell & Döhle group who are also our agent in Germany, we are joining a network to conquer new territory. We will be setting up our sales and operations teams within the Antwerp agency tasked with both supervising port calls and freight forwarding,” says an enthusiastic Guillaume Vidil, Marfret’s managing director, who plans to be in Antwerp at the beginning of October and will attend the AntwerpXL event, taking place from 4-6 October, with the MPV service teams.

Marfret’s latest service, the MPV, now calling at Antwerp

Launched at the height of the health crisis, the MPV service is a direct, multipurpose and regular service providing an easy way to ship consignments such as yachts, buses and aircraft wings without transhipment. The destinations served from Le Havre and Antwerp are Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France and Dégrad-des-Cannes, with a transit time of 42 days. For the past year, Marfret has been able to appreciate the reactiveness, flexibility, reliability and efficiency of the Antwerp’s comprehensive range of logistics services. “We need reliable partners, whether it’s for handling, fuelling or maintenance,”  acknowledges Guillaume Vidil. The combination of good labour relations at Antwerp, the richness of its hinterland and the reactiveness of the port’s stakeholders provide the perfect conditions for developing Marfret’s services in Belgium.

Marfret launches regular Egypt-Italy service

The Egypt-Italy Express service is going to be launched mid-October between Genoa and Salerno in Italy and Alexandria in Egypt.  Following on from Marfret’s founder Claude Vidil who, in the 1950s, provided tramp services in the Eastern Mediterranean, Guillaume Vidil is renewing ties with the destination, this time by way of a regular service.

Being a shipowner implies being at the forefront of market changes and accompanying producers, manufacturers and distributors in determining their strategies in order to minimize shipping-related risk. “In these times of relocating, in which more and more economic stakeholders are diversifying their supply chains in search of local suppliers, we are launching a fast, direct and high-quality service between Italy and Egypt with a dedicated turnaround,” says Guillaume Vidil.

Mid-October, the 400-TEU Lydia will set sail from Genoa and Salerno for its maiden voyage to the terminal at Alexandria’s Old Port. At destination, Marfret will be using the services of Pan Marine, a ships’ agent present in Egypt’s main ports.

A turnaround centred on three ports

“We have a strong interest in the Italian and Central European markets via Italy. Trade between Italy and Egypt, as with our other north-south lines, is balanced, with dry goods on the journey out and reefer traffic, mainly fruits, coming out of Egypt,” explains Guillaume Vidil, reminding that Marfret has been present in Italy for 32 years through its AEM agency

To ensure the best launch possible, Marfret has positioned 200 new reefer containers at Genoa. “Italy is Egypt’s second biggest trading partner in Europe. Economic cooperation between the two countries covers a wide range of sectors,” points out Amal Louis, director of the Maghreb service and Intra-Europe and Mediterranean Short Sea Lines development manager.

Clients have been urging for this line to start, with traffic ready to flow. If the expected volumes materialize, Marfret may open up new destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean.