The Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics, and Water has said that ports traffic in Morocco reached 172.1 million tons in 2020 compared to 153.1 million tons in 2019, an increase of 12.4%.
Moroccan ports have shown "resilience" to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry said in a statement on ports activity in 2020, noting that the maritime community ensured the continuity of the operation of ports to maintain strategic logistics chains.
This performance is due to the increase in the port of Tangier Med II and the New Port of Safi operations as well as the positive growth of traffic related to phosphates and cereals, the same source noted.
The total port traffic includes imports (38.5%), transshipment (34.7%), exports (23.8%), and coastal shipping (3%).
In 2020, imports amounted over 66.3 million tons (+6.9% compared to 2019), including cereals (9.4 million tons/+35.2%), coal (10.4 million tons/+3.1%), sulfur (7.2 million tons/+8.8%), ammonia (1.9 million tons/+17.5%) and hydrocarbons (13.1 million tons/+3.2%).
Regarding exports, in 2020 they recorded a volume of about 40.9 million tons (+8.6% compared to 2019), due mainly to raw phosphate (10 million tons/+4.3%), fertilizers (11.7 million tons/+34.4%), containers (4.7 million tons/+10.4%), clinker (1.3 million tons/+14.7%) and phosphoric acid (3.5 million tons /-9.2%).
Cabotage traffic between Moroccan ports has experienced a decline of 7.3% compared to 2019, reaching a volume of 5.1 million tons in 2020.
For the transshipment activity, the port complex of Tangier Med confirmed its position as a key logistics platform in the Mediterranean basin, posting a new record of 59.8 million tons during 2020, a significant increase of 24.7% compared to the previous year.
The traffic of new vehicles has reached 425,378 units during 2020, a decline of 27.8% compared to the previous year, due to the temporary suspension of activity of major operators in Morocco, following the Covid-19 health crisis.
Regarding passenger traffic, Moroccan ports saw the transit of around one million passengers in 2020, a decrease of 80.4% compared to 2019, due to the suspension of international travel and health measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. As for cruise traffic, Moroccan ports recorded 27,339 passengers, a decrease of 85.9% compared to 2019.
Also, the volume of coastal and artisanal marine fisheries, during 2020, has experienced a decline of 7.1% to 1.29 million tons, the Ministry concluded.