Moroccan ports processed 81 million tonnes in 2020, an increase of 23% compared to 2019.
Agadir – Recent activities in the port of Tangier Med have shown a sustained growth throughout 2020, according to the Tangier Med Port Authority (TMPA). Tangier Med alone processed 47% of the total port tonnage of Morocco last year, making it the leading port in the Mediterranean.
Moroccan ports handled a total of 81 million tonnes in 2020, an increase of 23% compared to the previous year, according to the press release. A total of 5,771,221 TEU containers were handled at the Tangier Med port complex in 2020, an increase of 20% compared to 2019.
Liquid bulk traffic grew by 26% compared to 2019, with the total traffic of nearly eight million tonnes of treated hydrocarbons. This is mostly due to bunkering activity by ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, which generated traffic of nearly 1.6 million tonnes.
Solid bulk traffic saw an increase of 18% compared to the previous year, recording a total of 303,705 tonnes processed. Most of the traffic generated was from the transportation of steel coils, wind turbine blades, and cereals.
Despite COVID-19-induced difficulties, the Tangier Med port finished the year with international transport truck traffic similar to 2019, with 357,331 trucks passing through, mostly concerning the agro-food sector, the statement said.
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TMPA noted, meanwhile, that the Moroccan port processed 358,175 new vehicles in 2020, down 28% compared to 2019. The irregularity is explained by the drop in vehicle sales in Europe, as well as the slowdown of industrial activity of Renault and Groupe PSA between March and May of last year, linked to the spread of COVID-19.
Passenger traffic was also impacted by the pandemic. The report noted that a total of 701,599 passengers passed through the port in 2020, down 75% compared to the previous year.
While maritime traffic saw a decrease of 32% compared to 2019, the report also noted a 10% increase in merchant ships and a 14% increase in mega ships that docked at Tangier Med in 2020.
The figures indicate that Tangier Med’s performance in 2020 was commendable, especially given the exceptional difficulties that came with COVID-19.
As the world makes cautious strides in containing the pandemic, many expect 2021 to be an eventful year. For all Tangier Med’s upbeat performance in recent months, it remains to be seen how the Moroccan port will perform in the face of sure-to-come challenges and changes.