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Hapag-Lloyd Brings Competition to Bustling Moroccan Port

Port of Tanger Med. Credit: NAC
A Hapag-Lloyd boxship at the brand-new Tanger Alliance TC3 terminal at the Tanger Med 2 port complex, Jan. 2021 (file image courtesy Contship Italia)

Published Sep 17, 2021 3:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The German Shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has announced it will set up a permanent base of operation in Morocco in a move to expand its global network. With additional personnel and new offices in the country, the company hopes to realize its growth ambitions in one of the most attractive markets in North Africa.  

Hapag Lloyd operates at the Tanger-Med Port through a 10 percent stake in the facility's brand new Container Terminal 3 (TC3). Hapag Lloyd said that part of the motive for its expansion in Morocco is to grow its capacity in the refrigerated container transport sector. According to statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture, Morocco’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables between September 1, 2020 and July 27, 2021, reached nearly two million tonnes, up from 1.88 million tonnes during a similar period last year. 

“The Moroccan economy has grown steadily over the last years. Many Moroccan customers have already experienced Hapag-Lloyd´s services. With the opening of our new representation in the country, we strive to meet customers´ requirements for proximity and quality of service," said Juan Pablo Richards, Senior Managing Director Region South Europe of Hapag-Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd will have three offices in Morocco, with headquarters based at Casablanca. The other two satellite offices will be at Tangier and Agadir, served by 47 employees.

Morocco’s Tanger Med is the busiest container terminal in Africa, processing over five million TEU in 2020. It also outperforms other regional ports in the Mediterranean region, including Valencia, Algeciras and Genoa. This can be attributed to Morocco’s implementation of attractive business tax rates and an innovative port business model attracting global investors. 

Hapag-Lloyd is also looking to grow its operations elsewhere in Africa. Eearlier this year, it introduced a new container cargo service to East Africa’s leading ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. It also opened a new office in Kenya.