Tanger Med Port Outperforms Expectations in 2020

tanger med
Tanger Med (file image)

Published Jan 29, 2021 1:21 PM by Brian Gicheru Kinyua

This week, Tanger Med port in Morocco released its final statistics on cargo handling performance for 2020. Despite disruption to the supply chain due to lockdowns imposed due to the raging pandemic, Tanger Med saw an increase in cargo tonnage, cementing the port’s leading position in Africa and the Mediterranean region.

The overall tonnage processed in 2020 totaled to 81 million tons, representing a 23 percent increase compared to 2019. The container terminals handled 5.8 million TEU, which was also an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous year.

At the liquid bulk terminal - Horizon Tangiers Terminal SA - a total of eight million tons of processed hydrocarbons was handled, a 26 percent increase compared to 2019. This growth was partly due to bunkering services at the terminal supplied by Minerva Bunkering, which handled about 1.6 million tons of fuel.

However, the performance of some terminals was significantly affected, especially at the height of the lockdown between March and May. A total of 358,000 new vehicles were processed - a 28 percent drop - as Renault and PSA Group cut their automobile production in Morocco and vehicle sales slowed in Europe.

In addition, passenger traffic at the port saw a 75 percent drop compared to pre-covid years due to suspension of passenger activity and closure of borders.

The maritime traffic also dropped by 32 percent, as only 9,700 ships called Tanger Med port in 2020, led by a decrease in the activity of passenger and ro/ro ships. But the number of merchant ships increased by 10 percent as 4,300 vessels called the port, 916 of which were mega-sized vessels (950 feet and over).

Elsewhere, in Mombasa Port, January saw the highest number of ships calling in a day since March of last year. On January 21, a total of ten ships arrived at the port, according to Mombasa port’s marine schedule. In the week ending last Friday, about 13,000 TEU (full and empty) was discharged from the port and another 13,000 TEU loaded for export.