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Room to spare: the Tanger Med port complex extends over 1000 hectares and two sites


Anatural advantage S


TANGER MED’S STRATEGIC POSITION HAS MADE IT AN IMPORTANT NODE IN GLOBAL TRADE. ALEX IRWIN-HUNT REPORTS


ince its first container termi- nal came into service in July 2007, the port of Tanger Med


has rocketed up global rankings, nowplacing as both Africa and the Mediterranean’s busiest port by con- tainer volume, according to Unctad’s liner shipping connectivity index. Tanger Med Port Authority


(TMPA), the public agency responsible for themanagement and infrastructure development of the port complex, has leveraged Tanger Med’s strategic position on the Strait of Gibraltar and its proximity to European markets to become a transhipment hub, servicing the 100,000 ships that pass by every year. “The key to its success has


been location and liner/terminal affiliations that bring volume to the facility,” says Chantal McRoberts, a principal consultant at Drewry, an independent maritime research company. With links to 186 ports in 77 countries, Tanger Med has been a


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draw for export-oriented companies setting up in nearby dedicated activ- ity zones (TMZ). This includes Renault’s 300-hectare car plant at Melloussa, which has a direct rail- way link and terminal in the port for importing parts and exporting its vehicles. “Tanger Med has becomea logis-


tics platform at the gates of Europe by playing on the operation of just- in-time production,” says Aziz Jaid, an economist in the North Africa office of theUN’s Economic Commission for Africa. The value of exports fromthe


port and nearby industrial platform has grown bymore than 20% since 2017, reaching a record $8.8bn in 2019, according toTMZ figures.


Port complex The Tanger Med port complex extends over 1000 hectares and two sites, encompassing four container terminals, a passenger and roll-on- roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal. Annual handling capacity of the port is 9 million containers, 700,000 trucks and 1 million vehicles, according to TMZ figures. The first three container termi-


nals are operated by APM Terminals, the terminal operating armof the world’s largest shipping


company AP Moller and Maersk, and other major terminal operators Eurogate, CMA-CGM and Marsa Morocco, the kingdom’s main port operator. The port also includes a railway


terminal, connected to the main cities of the kingdom with an annual capacity of 400,000 twenty- foot equivalent units (TEUs), a vehi- cle terminal serving automotive players such as Renault, and termi- nals for hydrocarbon, bulk and mis- cellaneous cargo. The fourth container terminal,


opened in June 2019 by APM Terminals, tripled the port’s han- dling capacity to 9 million TEUs. Morten Engelstoft, the chief


executive of APM Terminals, said upon its inauguration that the company had a long relationship with Morocco and was proud to ramp up its operations in the port. “APM Terminals MedPort


Tangier is a key junction in our global network, allowing us to serve our customers better and further facilitate global trade,” he added. Equipped with remote-con-


trolled quay cranes and automated rubber-tyred gantries (RMGs), APM’s new terminal “is one of the most advanced terminals within the port,” says Ms McRoberts.


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


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