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Marfret (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2013-03-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: marfret | marseille-fret | letters: mf (red) |
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Presentation of Marfret

Marseille-Fret was founded in 1951 by the ship broker Claude Vidil and his associate P. Giraud. The first vessel chartered by the company, MS Douce-France, was used for coastal sailing in the western Mediterranean basin. In 1955, Marseille-Fret bought its first ship, MS Côte-des-Légendes, mostly used for the redistribution of military material on the smaller ports of the Algerian coast.
MS Méjean was abandoned by heavy wind (mistral) off Cap Sicié, near Toulon, on 24 December 1964, following a blaze caused by an explosion in the hold of the ship. In 1972, MS Méjean-II was used as a floating zoo for the quarantine of wild animals imported from Kenya.
MS Niolon, sold in 1974, sailed under Panamanian flag as Lucona. The ship sunk off the west coast of India on 23 January 1977, following a criminal explosion. The Austrian journalist Hans Pretterebner related the attempt in thr book The Lucona Case, from which a film was shot in 1993.

In 1973, Marseille-Fret opened scheduled lines between the northern ports and the Middle-East. In 1975, the company operated seven vessels.
Marfret also traded with Libya, where its flagship MS Le Rove was retained in the port of Benghazi from 1980 to 1985. The ship was "exchanged" with the Libyan Ghat, retained in Marseilles, but was retrieved in such a bad state that it had to be scrapped.
In 1980, MS Douce-France-III served a new line between Rouen and the Caribbean islands. The ship was replaced in 1986 by MS Antilles, serving the line Dunkirk-Fort-de-France (Martinique).
Restructured in 1987, Marseille-Fret was renamed Compagnie Maritime Marfret, operating lines between the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean islands, increased in 1989 to the Indian Ocean, and, in 1998, to Algiers.


  • Marfret website
  • Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03]

Ivan Sache, 28 February 2004

House flag of Marfret

The house flag of Marfret is white with the company's logo (image) in the middle.

Dominique Cureau, undated

Former house flag of Marfret

[Marfret house flag]

House flag of Marseille-Fret - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 February 2004

P. Bois shows the house flag of Marseille-Fret as horizontally divided black-blue-black with the red letters "MF" in the blue stripe.

Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

[Marfret house flag]

Former house flag of Marfret - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

A subsequent version of the flag (photo) shows the flag with the black stripes thinner and a different design of the "MF" letters.

Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Doubtful reports of the flag

[Marfret house flag]

Former house flag of Marfret (doubtful) - Image by Jarig Bakker, 30 September 2005

Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World (1982 [lgr82] & 1995 [lgr95] releases) shows the flag as blue with the red letters "MF". This may have resulted from incorrect sightings of the original flag assuming that the blue is a dark shade and the black therefore not standing out.

Neale Rosanoski, 2 July 2004

[Marfret house flag]

Former house flag of Marfret (doubtful) - Image by Jorge Candeias, 31 March 1999

Carga e Transportes (Cargo and Transportation), the Monday's supplement to the Portuguese newspaper Público, shows the flag with the main field white and the thin stripes blue, and the letters "MF" skewed to the hoist.

Jorge Candeias, 31 March 1999