Mediterranean container hub, the Port of Algeciras in Spain, has maintained its lead over the Port of Valencia as the biggest container hub in the Mediterranean region in 2014.
The port handled more than 4.5 million TEU in 2014, around 113,000 more than Valencia.
However, according to the Journal of Commerce, the port still faces growing competition from new West African terminals.
Algericas 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.
But Algeciras and other transhipment hubs in the Mediterranean region are at risk of losing traffic to new terminals under construction in the Gulf of Guinea, which could potentially add more than 10 million TEU of deep-sea capacity.
The newly operational Lome Container Terminal (LCT) in Togo is acting as a hub for direct calls by MSC from the Far East.
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 2 million TEU and will be able to handle ships of up to 14,000 TEU.
In a bid to accommodate 18,000 TEU ships, APM Terminals plans to introduce 12-wheeled gantry cranes at its Algeciras facility in 2015 as part of a US$63 million investment.