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SPECIAL REPORT LOGISTICS


TANGERMEDHAS THEPOTENTIAL TOCONTINUE BEINGANFDI MAGNET INMOROCCO


Process improvements Jaafar Mrhardy, the general director of TMZ, says that infrastructure, such as highways and digital pro- cesses currently in place between the nearby industrial zones and port, allows for optimal fluidity of flows. “The platformis working on


the digitalisation and technological improvements of its processes with the aim of constantly offering services at the forefront of interna- tional standards,” he clarified, adding that the port community systemand gate access services are essential components of these upgrades. The port community systemwas


launched byTMPA in 2019 to provide paperless, centralised transactions that are integrated with customs. On top of extensive terminal


operations, the Tanger Med Port Centre provides a variety of mari- time and land transport links, a complex of offices for rent and other facilities.


Logistics focus Located in the heart of the port complex is Tanger Med Logistics Free Zone (ZFL), launched in 2008 to provide a platformfor the establishment of logistics bases to cover Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa. More than 100 companies are


installed within ZFL, including logis- tics operators, multinational distrib- utors, international trading compa-


nies and port service providers. Major global names in international logistics have set up in the free zone, including Germany-based DHL, France-based Bollore Logistics and Switzerland-based Panalpina. Retailers have also set up


regional logistics hubs in the port, including France’s Decathlon, Germany’s Adidas and Bosch, and the UAE’sEmirates Logistics. Mr Mrhardy says that an attrac-


tive aspect of Tanger Med’s value proposition is the support of national and international players in their installation process. “We reinforce the offer with the


possibility of constructing industrial logistics buildings in a six-month timeframe,” he explained, adding that a teamof 100 specialised engi- neers assist in this process. Jesko Hentschel, the World


Bank’s director for the Maghreb region, says that “by broadening the industrial ecosystemaround it and further enhancing its service cluster, Tanger Med has the poten- tial to continue being an FDI mag- net in Morocco.”


Cost concerns A benchmarking study of North African countries (excluding Libya) found that Morocco has themost developed logistics industry cluster, with a score 35% higher than the average, as well as the best infra- structure and accessibility, accord- ing to investment destination com-


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


parison tool fDi Benchmark. While the quality of the logis-


tics offered by Tanger Med has helped Morocco garner the highest number of inbound logistics pro- jects across the whole Maghreb region, there is room for improve- ment in its cost structure. Marc Nassif, the chief executive


of Renault’s Moroccan operations, says that logistics for their opera- tions are “extremely smooth”, but there is still work to be done on the cost factor (see page 104). “When the new port terminal


comes fully in operation, logistics costs will definitely go in the right direction,” he added.


Covid-19 resilience In the face of Covid-19 disruption, TMPA signed an agreement in May 2020 with other world- leading ports, such as Singapore, Shanghai and Rotterdam, to work towards the maintenance of supply chains. While the direct impact of the


pandemic is hard to quantify, Ms Roberts says that since 96%of flows through Tanger Med are transship- ment, with themajority of Morocco’s gateway cargo going through Casablanca, it has been likely less impacted by Covid-19. Given the port and concentra-


tion of logistics companies, Tanger Med is set to play a continued role in global supply chains at the intersec- tion of Europe and Africa.■


103


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