SPAIN's Port of Algeciras has retained its title as the largest container hub in the Mediterranean region, after handling 4.5 million TEU in 2014, 113,000 TEU more than its closest rival of Valencia.
But Algeciras and other transshipment hubs in the Mediterranean, are at risk of losing ground to new terminals under construction in the Gulf of Guinea, which could potentially add 10 million TEU of deep-sea capacity, reports London's Port Strategy International.
Algeciras currently generates significant traffic by connecting mainline vessels on east-west and north-south routes with both north-south and feeder services calling in West Africa.
The newly operational Lome Container Terminal (LCT) in Togo is acting as a hub for direct calls by Mediterranean Shipping Company from the Far East.
As one can see in the story immediately above, French Shipping giant CMA CGM has just opened a major terminal in Cameroon.
London's Drewry Shipping Consultants said: "This is the start of MSC pioneering a West Africa hub and spoke strategy with LCT as the centre of the new network design from which feeder services will initially connect on a weekly basis to nine different ports."
By 2017, Algeciras will have an annual capacity of two million TEU. To be able to handle 18,000-TEU ships, APM Terminals plans to install 12-wheeled gantry cranes at its Algeciras facility this year as part of a US$63 million investment.
Source : HKSG.