Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Port of Thessaloniki joins the MedPorts association

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, February 10th 2022 à 15:35 | Read 503 times

The Port of Thessaloniki will join MedPorts (Photo: THPA)
The Port of Thessaloniki will join MedPorts (Photo: THPA)
MEDITERRANEAN. On the occasion of a conference on the challenges of the Mediterranean ports during the Mediterranean Worlds Forum (Marseilles on 7 and 8 February 2022), the managers of MedPorts have revealed that the Port of Thessaloniki is going to join their association.

Created in June 2018 and chaired by Hervé Martel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM), MedPorts will thus bring together twenty-four port authorities from twelve countries*. Its members represent about 70% of the traffic operated in the Mediterranean Sea and more than 25 million containers.

Situated in the North of Greece, in the Macedonia region, the Port of Thessalonica, the second largest in the country (155 hectares) behind that of Piraeus (suburb of Athens), is considered as the gateway to the Balkans and South East Europe. In 2020, it had a freight tonnage of 71.1 million tonnes, received 460,724 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers and achieved a turnover of €71.72m.

The infrastructure, chaired by Athanasios Liagkos, also has a cruise terminal and should welcome 55 calls (15 different ships from 11 companies) in 2022. 55% of these are beachheads (port of departure). 
Since December 2017, the port of Thessaloniki has been 67% owned by a consortium consisting of Germany's Deutsche Invest Equity Partners (47%), France's Terminal Link (a subsidiary of Marseille's CMA CGM) and Cyprus' Belterra Investments.

Philippe Guillaumet is preparing several seminars (Photo: F.Dubessy)
Philippe Guillaumet is preparing several seminars (Photo: F.Dubessy)

"Developing traffic in the Mediterranean"

"The Mediterranean is the platform between different continents, Africa, Europe and Asia. We have been playing this role for centuries and centuries and we want to continue to play it," explains Philippe Guillaumet. Secretary General of the association, he says that with MedPorts he wants to "develop traffic in the Mediterranean, cooperation projects and make the Mediterranean known throughout the world to have a greater visibility of Mediterranean ports.

"We create moments of exchange on the potential for traffic development," he says. In May 2022, a seminar on fresh and perishable products will be held in Tangiers. MedPorts also proposes activities on training. "Five training institutes in the Mediterranean have come together to create a programme funded by our association," he comments. An internal Erasmus is being set up with the financing of mobility for young employees of member ports. "Each of them will be able to visit a port or two and report on the facilities they visit for the benefit of the association, but this will have given them international experience," emphasises Philippe Guillaumet.

"We also work a lot on the environment and the exchange of good practices," he continues. A seminar will be dedicated to this theme in April 2022 in Algeciras as part of the launch of the ECA zone in the Mediterranean (a project to regulate pollutant emissions at sea resulting from the international Marpol Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships), which should be completed in 2025.

* Albania (Durrès), Algeria (Arzew, Bejaïa, Skikda), Egypt (Alexandria), France (Bastia, Marseille-Fos, Toulon, Sète), Greece (Igoumenitsa and soon Thessaloniki), Italy (Civitavecchia, Taranto and Venice), Lebanon (Beirut), Malta, Morocco (Tanger Med), Slovenia (Koper), Spain (Algeciras, Barcelona, Cartagena, Catalonia ports, Valencia), Tunisia.


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