• Ships from Asia are beginning to set up new routes through southern Africa, without affecting the logistics chain, following the diversions caused by the Red Sea crisis

València, 19 January 2024.- El The Port of València is working with “total normality”, both with the ships on Atlantic and Mediterranean routes and with the container ships affected by the Red Sea crisis which has forced certain traffics to go round southern Africa to reach the Mediterranean. “At the moment, the Port of València has sufficient capacity to withstand this situation. There was a problem that was detected at the beginning due to the delay in navigation that this crisis generated, but now it has been solved”. This was explained by Néstor Martínez, Deputy Director General for Business Development of the Port Authority of València (PAV).

The danger of the war situation in the Red Sea caused major shipping companies with large container ships of 400 metres in length to stop accessing the Valencian terminals by crossing the Suez Canal and making various stopovers in the Mediterranean.

For the safety of their crews and goods, these companies opted to go around Africa, via the Cape of Good Hope; a round trip that lengthened the crossing by 10 to 12 days, with the consequent delay in arriving at the port of destination. The delay affected the logistics chain of these ships, which until the Red Sea crisis reached València via Suez.

“The ships – details Néstor Martínez – are now beginning to arrive regularly, so users, shippers and importers of the Port of València can rest assured. The port will continue to provide service; and, therefore, companies can go ahead with their export and import projects, knowing that they have guaranteed distribution, and that the logistics chain will not be interrupted”.

According to Néstor Martínez, “the experience that the Pandemic brought us, not only to the port of Valencia, but to the entire world logistics chain, to the ports, to the carriers and operators, means that everyone is doing their bit to make this work. There is no cause for alarm at the moment. The Port of València has sufficient capacity to withstand this situation. There was a problem that was detected at the beginning due to the delay of those ten or 12 days, and it has now been solved”.

For the manager of the leading Mediterranean port in container traffic, “the Port of Valencia, the port of Algeciras, as well as ports in Morocco and Barcelona, which have infrastructures for large container ships, can be used to collect goods destined for Mediterranean ports, as our sea has become a sack with a bottom, because before the ship passed through the Suez Canal. Now when it arrives in València it has to be re-distributed and will not pass through the ports of Gioia Tauro, Piraeus, Malta, etc. Now they will not arrive there because the shipowner will order the ship to return to Asia via the Cape of New Hope. That’s what can happen, so there is no problem in sight”. “For the moment, we are doing the normal monitoring, as we usually do in these jobs, both in the maritime and land operations. “The capacity of the port of VLC is guaranteed. At the moment the terminals have enough slack to support this increase in traffic, bearing in mind that distribution will be guaranteed because the shipping companies have to distribute it to our neighbouring countries with the feeder ships (smaller ships than ocean-going vessels) that they have to schedule; and in any case, the Port Authority is in permanent contact with the main shipping companies to resolve any circumstances that may arise from this situation because our aim is to be facilitators of trade”, he concluded.