Its Moroccan hub, recently installed in Tangier, DHL Global Forwarding intends to exploit the maximum geographical advantages. The warehouse covering 6,000 m², of which 3,600 are covered, is in fact the largest that the Deutsche Post subsidiary has installed in Morocco.
In terms of volume, the site will be able to store 3,700 pallets that will arrive via containers, trailers and via air. “The reason for our choice to open the Tangier Med warehouse is above all to connect West and North Africa to Europe, taking advantage of the strategic location of Tangier and its port complex, its modern infrastructures and simplified procedures”, explains Christelle Fadel, General Manager of DHL Logistics Morocco SA.
The objective was also, as part of Morocco’s strategy, to act as a hub and export platform between Africa and Europe. The new hub wants to go beyond simple logistics, offering DHL customers not only transportation but also additional services, such as supply chain management. This includes storage and pick and pack, to serve both the local market and exports.
The choice of Tangier is not trivial. This region is an example in terms of infrastructure if we take into consideration the Tangier port with its quays, and the road infrastructure that connects the various economic and industrial centers of the country such as Casablanca, Tangier, Kenitra and Marrakech, among others. “Many of our customers have expressed the need to have an advanced stock to serve their customers, either in Morocco or in the rest of Africa,” says Fadel, hence this option.
To begin, the warehouse will employ 10 to 15 employees, but their number will increase very rapidly depending on the progress of the activity. Indeed, several multinationals have opted for Morocco to make their Africa hub, which reflects the importance of flows to the Moroccan market, but also to serve African markets by building an advanced stock in Tangier.
Among the countries targeted by DHL are Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, destinations that Tangier can serve quickly with an advanced stock, as well as North Africa, Tunisia and Algeria in particular. The TangerMed site is connected with weekly road connections to and from France, from where all of Europe is served.
“We will soon launch a road service to Africa. From Tangiers we will go down to Senegal to have a road alternative to the shipping line “, announces the head of DHL in Morocco. The logistician, in anticipation of an increase in flows over the next few years, has also programmed an extension of the site. The current 6,000 m² (including wharves and parking areas) will add an additional 5,000 m² covered within a year. The market is very demanding and needs may explode.
DHL plans to double capacity on the Tangier-Casablanca line with two daily shuttles per day instead of one. Road traffic is also expected to double in the future, reaching 6 to 8 trucks a week. On the line connecting Tangier to Barcelona, the goal is to switch to two frequencies. In terms of container flow, the idea is to start with around fifty containers a week.
Ultimately, the goal is to open a gap in order to take advantage of the very short transit times offered by TangerMed, and to offer the American market.