According to the Alphaliner ranking, it ranks 19th among container ports, marking a historic milestone for Morocco

The port of Tangier Med climbs to the Top 20 worldwide

contenedores Tanger Med
Port of Tangier Med (Morocco) - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

The increase in container handling during the year 2023, with 8.6 million containers handled, place the Tangier Med port in the world top 20 best container ports in the world, according to the latest benchmark ranking published by the maritime analysis company Alphaliner based in France for the current month of March.

Thus, the port of Tangier Med has moved up three positions in this ranking, occupying now the 19th place worldwide among 500 container ports.

Morocco thus enters the exclusive club of 12 countries appearing in the list of the 20 best ports worldwide, along with China, Singapore, Korea, the United States, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, becoming the first African country to enter this list.

Port of Tangier Med (Morocco) - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

The port of Tangier Med had planned to enter the ranking of the 20 best ports in the world in 2027 so it has moved four years ahead and has overtaken important ports such as those of New York and Hamburg, which occupy respectively the 21st and 22nd positions worldwide.

At the European level, Tangier Med overtakes the third port in Europe in this ranking and is placed behind the port of Rotterdam (thirteenth) and Antwerp/Bruges (fifteenth), while no Spanish port appears in the list of the 20 best ports in the world.

The port of Valencia ranked 30th worldwide in 2022, followed by the port of Piraeus (Greece) in 31st place, while the port of Algeciras ranked 42nd worldwide.

Tanger Med guillermo
Port of Tangier Med (Morocco) - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

According to the Alphaliner ranking, Tangier Med also experienced in 2023 the second best annual development in percentage terms among the world's top 20 ports, with an increase of 13.4 percent, after the port of Qingdao (16.9 percent).
Tangier Med signs its 2023 annual report with record figures  

According to the annual report on Tangier Med's economic activity for 2023 made public at the end of January and published in Atalayar, 8.6 million containers handled, i.e. 95 percent of the port complex's nominal capacity, a target reached four years ahead of schedule.  

The year 2023 experienced a very significant container activity; as the port of Tangier Med broke the record for the number of containers handled, reaching 8 617 410 TEUs. Which reflects a growth of 13.4% compared to 2022, an achievement made 4 years in advance. 

This progression is mainly due to the good performance of terminals TC1 and TC4, operated by Maersk- APM, and to the continuous ramp-up of terminal TC3, operated by Tangier Alliance. The year 2023 also recorded record productivity levels above the monthly peaks of 800,000 TEUs handled.  

In 2023, 477,993 TIR trucks were processed, representing an increase of 4.1% over 2022. In parallel, industrial product traffic recorded a significant rise of 14.3% compared to the previous year, offsetting a 7.7% decline in agricultural product traffic. 

Puerto de Tánger Med, Marruecos - PHOTO/ATALAYAR
Port of Tangier Med (Morocco) - ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ

The two vehicle terminals of the Tangier Med port complex handled a total of 578,446 vehicles in 2023, representing an increase of 21% compared to 2022.

This traffic mainly includes 341,758 export vehicles, produced by the Renault factories in Melloussa and SOMACA in Casablanca, as well as 176,208 vehicles exported by the Stellantis factory in Kenitra. 

As for liquid bulk activity, cargo traffic recorded a 6% growth compared to 2022, reaching a total of 9,838,157 tons of hydrocarbons handled.  

For its part, solid bulk cargo traffic increased by 44% compared to the previous year, with a total of 581,042 tons processed. 

After the Covid 19 sanitary crisis, the year 2023 saw a return to normality for passenger traffic. A total of 2,700,747 passengers were received at the Tangier Med port complex, registering a growth of 30% compared to 2022. This traffic recovered its usual levels recorded before the pandemic. 

Marking a considerable evolution in tonnage, the Tangier Med port complex handled 122 million tons of goods, with an increase of 13.6% compared to 2022, of which 21% in Import/Export. 

It should be recalled that this overall traffic recorded is the highest both in the Strait of Gibraltar and in the Mediterranean, also representing more than half of the overall tonnage handled by all the ports of Morocco, according to a statement from the authorities of the port Tangier Med. 

At the level of maritime traffic, in 2023, the port recorded the berthing of 16,900 ships, with a growth of 17% compared to 2022. Among them, 1,113 mega-ships, reaching an increase of 16% compared to the previous year. 

The same statement underlined that "these results demonstrate the relevance of King Mohammed VI's vision for this strategic project", stressing that "Tangier Med remains resolutely oriented towards the future, ready to meet new challenges and to further strengthen its position as a major logistics hub in Morocco and in the Euro-Mediterranean space".