The Moroccan port of Tangier, the largest in the country, has broken record figures in the mobilisation and transport of containers and goods in 2022. According to an official communiqué issued by the port facility itself, "the complex processed a total of 107,822,662 tonnes [of goods], a growth of 6% compared to 2021". "This tonnage is expected to represent about 54% of total tonnage handled in the entire Kingdom of Morocco," the note explained.
#2022inreview Tanger Med has yet again achieved new milestones and broken records during 2022. https://t.co/VV1TherZ1D#TangerMed #Performance #AnnualResults #Competitiveness #Logistics #Leadership #Strategichub pic.twitter.com/uCO2kb3ket— TANGER MED (@TM_Officiel) January 16, 2023
In terms of container traffic, the port also recorded a significant increase in figures at the close of the 2022 financial year, accounting for 7.59 million 20-foot containers (also known by the acronym TEU, "Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit"). This is another six per cent growth over the 2021 figures. "Vessels were able to achieve excellent productivity levels over the past year," the statement said, "so the performance of handling operations improved".
These numbers seem to reinforce the position of the port of Tanger Med - managed by the phosphoric acid manufacturer and fertiliser producer, Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) - as the first port in the Kingdom and the second on the entire African continent. Tanger Med's facilities extend over nearly 1,000 hectares, allowing it to accommodate 9 million TEU containers, more than seven million passengers and around 700,000 trucks and one million vehicles. It is estimated that approximately 20% of world trade passes through this port each year.
In this sense, the initiative to extend the original port facilities (which had two terminals), as well as the improvement of management policies, could be - according to the port authorities themselves - two of the determining factors in guaranteeing the annual growth trend.
In addition to the record figures for total goods and TEU container throughput, there has also been an increase in ro-ro traffic (an acronym for "roll on-roll off" which includes all road vehicles, whether cars or lorries). The fastest growing commodity in 2022. 459,019 international transport trucks were moved last year, 13% more than the previous year's figures. "This positive dynamic is mainly due to domestic [product] exports for the industrial and food sectors," the Tanger Med statement said, "representing an increase of 22% and 11% respectively."
The transport of new vehicles has also increased, and according to the text, the two terminals for the movement of vehicles together have handled more than 478,000 cars. "295,393 vehicles destined for export were produced by the Renault factory and the Moroccan SOMACA [the Moroccan Society of Automobile Construction] in Malusa [in the Tangier region], in addition to 124,112 cars produced by the Peugeot factory at the Stellantis Kenitra plant [in the Kenitra region]," the note noted.
For its part, the volume of liquid bulks exceeded the 9 million tonne threshold, and that of solid bulks the 400,000 tonne threshold, in both cases being higher than the figures recorded in 2021 "mainly due to the movement of sheet metal coils and grains".
And - marked by the recovery of tourist activity and movement - the flow of passengers who have travelled by ferry from Tanger Med has exceeded two million people, while more than 14,000 ships have berthed at the facilities (due to calls), of which 961 were mega-ships (vessels exceeding 290 metres in length).
The port of Tanger Med - including the extension 'Tanger Med 2' - has become, since the construction of terminals 3 and 4 (in 2021 and 2019, respectively, both belonging to the 'Tanger Med 2' project), the largest deep-water port in the Kingdom of Morocco in terms of capacity, ahead of other major ports such as Casablanca, Jorf Lasfar or Mohammedia. It is located only 45 kilometres from the city of Tangier and 20 kilometres from the Spanish town of Ceuta, and is considered a strategic enclave as the closest point to the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and as a transit point for a large part of the routes linking America, Europe and Africa.