The importance of the Mediterranean shipping ports



There is no doubt that the maritime shipping sector continues to be in good health as more and more goods are transported by sea each year. The evidence is there for all to see with predictions for the commercial shipping industry to be worth around $210 billion by 2021. With 2019 set to be another good year for the marine freight sector, many within the industry are quietly confident of sustained future growth.


The reasons behind this seem to lie in the truly global nature of business and also how we shop as consumers. More money spent on e-commerce means more goods need to be shipped from abroad – many of them will come via the world’s oceans. The vast demand for cheaper goods in physical high-street stores also fuels the appetite for transporting large quantities of goods by sea.


There are many seas around the planet that see lots of activity in this respect, but the Mediterranean is surely one of the busiest. As a gateway between East and West, it plays a key role in getting goods from one part of the world to the other, quickly and cheaply.


Top five ports in the Mediterranean for maritime freight


While the Mediterranean Sea as a whole is awash with container ships ferrying their loads backwards and forwards, it is worth looking at the many ports where the ships dock. Below are some of the most famous and well-used on this crucial shipping route.


  • Piraeus – first up we have the port city of Piraeus in Greece. Found in the Attica region on the mainland of Greece, it is as busy now as it was when first founded around the 5th Century B.C. With 1.4 million TEU’s passing through this port each year, it is easily one of the top locations for commercial freight in the Mediterranean. Piraeus is also notable in the shipping industry for being the birthplace of Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis. Founder and Chairman of the world-renowned shipping company Capital Maritime Trading Corp, Mr. Marinakis is also well known for his charitable work. With 78 ships transporting goods across the planet, this company gives even more credibility to Piraeus as a top port.


  • Algeciras – this major Spanish European port is relatively young in comparison to many, only being set-up in 1894. Since then though it has grown to handle around four million TEU’s per year from the container ships that dock there. There are over 10 kilometers of quays within the port which allows it handle vessels of all sizes. Even more amazingly, it is also home to marine life including whales and dolphins, despite the heavy shipping traffic of over 30,000 vessels per year.


  • Valencia – another major player in commercial shipping located in the Western Mediterranean is Valencia. With over 50 million tons of cargo passing through each year and over 4 million TEU’s, it certainly sees its fair share of traffic. With almost 8,000 ships visiting the port each year, it is also an important employer in the area with over 15,000 employees. With 12 kilometers of quays and a 300-acre storage area, it will remain one of the Med’s most vital ports for years to come.


  • Marseille-Fos – as the name would suggest, this historic and vital port is in the southern French city of Marseille. Split over two main sites, it generates over four million Euro’s in revenue each year and employs around 45,000 people. The port handles vessels of all sizes and shipment of any kind. With over 80 million tons dealt with each year, it is easily the biggest French port.


  • Genoa – Italy is still home to a robust shipping sector and the port of Genoa is its biggest name. Over 50 million tons of cargo pass through this seaport annually and it is also used as a dismantling station. It was here that the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia was broken up after being hauled from the sea bed. Based on 700 hectares of land and stretching over 20 kilometers along the Italian coats, it is a sight to behold.


Mediterranean Sea will always be key for shipping


The strategic importance of the Mediterranean means it will continue to be important as a shipping route and a convenient port destination used by many shipping lines. The ability it provides to transport goods from East to West make it valuable to the global economy and that is sure to continue into the future.




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