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15.8% year-on-year. This compares to a decline of - 512,295teu, or 10%, at its larger neighbour, Laem Chabang. Nonetheless, volumes at Bangkok remain more than


40% above the 1m teu cap that the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has had in place for many years. High levels of crowding persist in and around the cargo handling facilities and there is traffic congestion in the vicinity of the inner-city located port. Many traders, even shipping lines and especially those


involved in the intra-Asia trades, still prefer to use Bangkok because of its proximity to the main commercial and industrial belts of the country. PAT continues to invest in Bangkok with four new


84 (Joint) Bangkok Throughput: 1,222,000teu


(-15.8%)


A second consecutive year of declining volumes saw Bangkok’s container throughput fall by 229,951teu, or


ship-to-shore gantry cranes recently installed to replace a similar number of obsolete units at Bangkok’s Terminal 1 (T1) facility. PAT has also commissioned repairs to several other cranes that have been “out of action” at T2 for some time. In other developments, the port authority is forging


ahead with its e-commerce initiatives and has introduced an e-gate/smart gate system to streamline working processes and reduce truck turnaround times. Anti-government protests this year paralysed the centre


of Bangkok for many weeks, impacting the country’s supply chain and the ability to move goods to and from the port.


84 (Joint)Tangier Throughput: 1,222,000teu


(+32.7%)


The development of the Tanger Med port complex has posed a challenge to other regional transhipment hubs. Global terminal operators and major shipping lines have invested in or committed as customers at the North Moroccan facility, which benefits from a lower cost base than nearby rivals. Growth of 301,000teu saw the port break through the


1m teu barrier in 2009 and catapulted it into the Top 100 for the first time. The 3m teu phase 1 of an envisaged four-terminal, 8m


teu container handling complex opened in 2007. Stage 2 of the development was due to begin in 2008-9 but was delayed by the economic downturn. Tanger Med is now moving ahead with its Terminal 3


project, with Casablanca-based port management group Marsa Maroc as operator. T3 is scheduled for completion in 2014 and will increase handling capacity by 3m teu a year. Annualised capacity at Tanger Med is expected to reach 8m teu within the next five years. Box traffic handled in Q1 2010 surged by 50%, year-


on-year, to 407,844teu. The Tanger Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA) expects box traffic to increase 30% in 2010 and it could top 1.6m teu. As well as strong performance from existing customers CMA CGM, Delmas and Maersk Line, new services


68 www.cargosystems.net August 2010


began calling last year, including Hamburg Sud, Hapag- Lloyd and IMTC. Most of these lines used Tanger Med as a relay hub for West Africa, although better road and rail connections with the Moroccan interior helped secure a 22% increase in gateway cargo in 2009, though it remains minimal at 11,326teu.


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