This is what the Ministry of Transport has called the "exit" operation

Morocco is already preparing "Operation Marhaba"

photo_camera Atalayar_Operación Paso del Estrecho Marruecos España (1)

Marhaba means welcome in Arabic. To welcome all tourists and Moroccans living abroad, who return to their homeland every summer, the Ministry of Transport has called the "departure" operation Marhaba. In Spain, it is known as Operation Crossing the Strait and is coordinated by the Directorate General of Civil Protection and Emergencies of the Ministry of the Interior. It is "one of the largest flows of people between continents in such a short time", according to the Spanish government.
 
In a speech to members of the Infrastructure, Energy, Mines and Environment Commission, he specified that port traffic in 2022 was dominated by transhipment activity by up to 43% with a total volume of 85 million tonnes, followed by imports (34%), exports (18%), maritime cabotage (4%) and finally the supply of fuel to ships with only 1%.

PHOTO/ARCHIVE - Tourism in Morocco

The Minister of Transport and Logistics Mohamed Abdeljalil, said that the balance of the operation "Marhaba 2022", during the period from 15 June to 15 September recorded a traffic of 3.2 million passengers and 558,000 vehicles, carried by a fleet of 33 ships connecting Moroccan and European ports, noting that the port of Tangier Med as the busiest. This figure includes passengers transiting through the various airports in the Kingdom and those entering and leaving via the land border of Bab-Sebta and Beni Anzar in Melilla.
 
The Moroccan Ministry of Transport and Logistics has already begun to prepare for Operation Marhaba 2023. Minister Abdeljalil assured that his department is working on the development of a fleet plan and trip scheduling, the strengthening of supply and the diversification of transit points, in addition to the effort to ensure that the vessels scrupulously comply with international specifications and standards in terms of safety and maritime security.
 
With regard to the ports of departure from Spain to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, Algeciras, with 870,109 passengers, is the port with the most traffic. This represents a decrease in the number of passengers, compared to 2019, of 2.8% due to the pandemic, the crisis between Spain and Morocco last year and the war in Ukraine which increased fuel prices last summer.

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PHOTO/AFP - This photo taken on June 28, 2019 shows a view of container cranes at Terminal I of the port of Tangier Med, in the northern city of Tangier.

The Strait of Gibraltar operation does not only count passengers or vehicles going to Morocco but also those going to Ceuta and Melilla. Thus, from Spain, the busiest destination ports were those of Morocco with 62% of passengers; 16.3 points less than the percentage recorded in 2019. For its part, Ceuta received 23% of the journeys (3.9% more than three years earlier), while Melilla has remained at a similar level with 12% of the traffic received.

The port of Algeciras ranks first in Spain and fourth in Europe in total volume of goods, with a traffic of more than 108 million tonnes in 2022, 3% more than in 2021. Thus, one fifth of the total volume of goods in the country passes through Algeciras.  It is also an important enclave for maritime passenger traffic, with more than five million passengers a year. Its activity has grown to place it in fourth place in Europe in terms of goods, the first in the Mediterranean and among the 25 most important in the world according to the company Ineco. 
 
In addition, the port of Algeciras intends to improve its land logistics connections. Adif is improving and extending the rail connections close to the port so that goods can continue their journey through the logistics chain in a more sustainable way. Thus, the company is currently working on the internal network as well as on the external access, the Bobadilla-Algeciras line and wants to improve the connections with Madrid and Zaragoza so that goods arriving at the port can be transported by train to these cities. This will in turn improve freight traffic with Spain's main trading partner, Morocco.

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