The expansion of Tanger Med in Morocco has resulted in the biggest increase in connectivity ever recorded by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD
UNCTAD cited the port’s geographical position and the level of private sector investment from “major global port operators” for the port’s success.
UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2019 calculated that Tanger Med’s connectivity – the extent to which it is connected to global trade – has increased by a greater extent than that for any other port in the world since 2007, when Tanger Med opened.
There are now direct services from Tanger Med to 186 ports in 77 countries worldwide and it has established itself as a transhipment port for West Africa. The expansion of capacity at Tanger Med from 3M TEU/year to 9M TEU/year cost €3.5B. It handled more than half of all Moroccan exports in 2018 and is now by far the biggest container port on the African continent, shipping more containers than either Port Said or Durban in 2018. The 13 ports in Morocco handled a combined 138 Mt of cargo in 2018 out of total annual handling capacity of 260 Mt.
Despite the rapid progress made by Tanger Med, the UNCTAD report still ranked Piraeus as the most connected port in the Mediterranean, followed by Valencia, Algeciras and Barcelona. The report also calculated average turnaround times at ports worldwide in 2018 at 0.70 days for container ships and 2.05 days for dry bulk.