Interview: Hartmut Goeritz
What benefits have been gleaned from the Tanger-Med global logistics gateway?
HARTMUT GOERITZ: The arrival of a global logistics hub brought with it possibilities for investment, job creation, storage facilities and construction of an international port. For some time Morocco sought to develop the port into an essential platform for maritime trans-shipment. This goal was supported by the country’s vision, investment, infrastructure development and proximity to shipping routes. Ships from Asia and Europe now pass through Tangier without deviation. The creation of a global logistics hub was also the catalyst for bringing Renault, Siemens and other multinational operators to Morocco. Infrastructure with the ability to facilitate international trade is attractive to multinationals.
We see a significant amount of return on investment. All these industrial zones that produce materials for export know they can rely on the Tanger-Med port, and vice versa. The result is a highly developed ecosystem, capable of exporting any made-in-Morocco product to the rest of the world.
How would you describe the role of the Tanger-Med industrial platform at a regional level?
GOERITZ: Part of what makes the role of the Tanger-Med platform so unique is certainly its size and depth, which allows it to receive the largest of ships that are deployed to more than 190 destinations worldwide. Many come with a high volume of cargo to the industrial platform, where it is processed and then shipped from the port to the sub-Saharan region, the West African coast, South America, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the eastern coast of North America. The variety and diversity of locations covered by the Tanger-Med industrial platform is matched by very few other logistics bases in the region. Furthermore, the platform boasts high-quality infrastructure, fast execution times and reliable energy sources that work in tandem to strengthen major economic or industrial operations in the region. Additionally, its connectivity to the national highways and to the Casablanca-Rabat consumer centre allows a container to be unloaded today and arrive in Casablanca tomorrow morning.
The kingdom is also planning regional distribution by rail. The single train line between Tangier and the southern regions of Morocco, which was once reserved for passenger traffic during the day, has been replaced by a new high-speed railway that was inaugurated in November 2018. This is expected to support the development of a more effective train distribution network that seeks to enhance both export and import activity.
How has Tangier evolved in the past decade?
GOERITZ: Tangier is a mix of Moroccan tradition and modernism. The port city brings together many cultures and languages that enrich the experiences of newcomers. It has completely changed over the past decade, largely thanks to investment of more than Dh7bn (€629.6m) towards its development and the entire logistics platform ecosystem. Part of that investment is also going towards the development of a new marina in Tangier. The new marina is expected to leverage the city’s position as a gateway to the rest of the continent and international exchanges with ships from around the world.
These developments are a huge asset for multinationals that move to Morocco, as well as for sectors beyond transport, as Tangier is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for employees. In terms of the logistics sector, I think we will see increasing volumes of trans-shipment between other major global ports. Thanks to its geographic position, Tangier’s contribution to the sector is expected to keep growing. Overall, the city represents significant potential to boost Morocco’s position in the region.
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