The 6 most important commercial ports in the Mediterranean
Commercial ports are key infrastructures for the development of a territory. These represent a door to the world for the reception and shipment (import and export) of a wide variety of merchandise, contributing to the generation of wealth and favouring the development of commercial activity in its area of influence, popularly known as the hinterland.
Through the different and historical maritime routes, the connectivity of ports worldwide allows integrating all the regions of the planet, through a capacity known as foreland.
In this article we collect the most important commercial ports located in the Mediterranean Sea, taking into account the volume of merchandise and the container traffic they handle.
Ports with the highest volume of goods in the Mediterranean
Mainly due to their strategic location and size, but also due to other geopolitical factors, these are the most important commercial ports in the Mediterranean.
Port of Piraeus, Greece
The Port of Piraeus is the largest seaport in Greece and therefore one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean Sea basin, and one of the ten largest container ports in Europe. In recent years, it has experienced practically exponential growth mainly due to investment by China in The Land Sea Express route to connect the eastern country with Europe by means of a high-speed railway. In this way, the Greek port becomes the maritime hub par excellence between southern Europe and central Europe.
Port of Valencia, Spain
The Port of Valencia is one of the busiest in the Mediterranean and, in terms of container volume, it has been the largest port in the area for several years, favoured by its excellent trade relations with China through the Suez Canal. It is currently in the process of expanding its northern terminal, a project that has been controversial for years due to the possible environmental impact on the Valencian coast.
Port of Barcelona, Spain
The Port of Barcelona is the largest port in the area serving cruise ship traffic, although it also occupies one of the first places in terms of container traffic. Asia is the main origin and destination of the containers channeled by the Catalan port, with 42% of exports and 75% of imports. China is consolidated as the main trading partner, since it receives 11% of export containers and is the origin of 42% of imports.
Port of Algeciras, Spain
The Port of Bahía de Algeciras, located in the province of Cádiz, is one of the largest commercial ports in the Mediterranean. Its location next to the Strait of Gibraltar positions it as an unbeatable connection with the maritime lines that link it to the African continent and a direct line with the Moroccan port of Tangier Med.
Port of Genoa, Italy
The port of Genoa is the main Italian seaport and one of the busiest commercial centres in Europe. It serves as an important outlet for industrial products in Northern Italy and most of Central Europe. It has an area of about 700 hectares of land and 500 hectares in the water, it stretches for more than 22 kilometres along the coast, with 47 kilometres of sea lanes and 30 kilometres of operational docks.
Tangier Med port, Morocco
The Port of Tangier Med is a newly built deep-sea port located on the Moroccan side of the Strait of Gibraltar, 45 km from the city of Tangier and 20 km from Ceuta. It is situated in an unbeatable strategic position, at the point of the Moroccan coast closest to the coast of the Iberian Peninsula and instead of the crossing point of the maritime routes that link Europe, Africa and America.
The importance of ports in international trade
Maritime transport is economically and environmentally the most efficient way to carry out the transport of goods. This is especially important given the growing concern about the negative effects and externalities of a globalised economy.
Today, we can affirm that around 90% of world trade is transported by the international maritime industry. Only in Spain, and according to data from the public entity Puertos del Estado, the importance of ports as links in the logistics and transport chains is supported by the following figures: nearly 60% of exports pass through them and 85% of imports, which represent 53% of Spanish foreign trade with the European Union and 96% with third countries. In addition, the state port system generates direct employment of more than 35,000 jobs and about 110,000 indirectly.