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PortCastelló, MSC and Noatum discuss conditions for the shipping company’s potential return to Castellon

9 January 2024

09-01-2024. Senior MSC and Noatum executives have held a meeting at the headquarters of the Port Authority of Castellon with its Chairman, Rubén Ibáñez, and CEO, Manuel García, to explore the conditions for the shipping company’s potential return to Castellon.

This was a preliminary get-together to study the feasibility of shipping company MSC returning to operate out of the Port of Castellon following the commitment of Noatum (part of the Abu Dhabi Ports Group) to the Port of Castellon by acquiring 100% of APM Terminals. The purchase means the Port of Castellon goes from having two container terminals to one which will make it more competitive by increasing its size to 250,000 m2 and having the potential to handle 250,000 TEUs. Noatum Terminals has been running a multipurpose terminal in the Port of Castellon since 2004.

This meeting culminates a number of contacts held by the Port Authority of Castellon to ease the return of container lines to its port, “albeit bearing in mind the tricky geopolitical situation in Algeria and Israel, two of PortCastelló’s key markets for this type of freight” as noted by the Port’s Chairman Rubén Ibáñez.

In attendance (from left to right) were Oscar Rodríguez, Sales Director at Noatum Ports; Ignacio Ballester, MSC’s Director in Spain; Antonio Campoy, the CEO of Noatum; Rubén Ibáñez, the Chairman of the Port Authority; Francisco Lorente, the Chairman of MSC; Joaquín Ramón, CEO at Noatum Terminals, and Manuel García, PortCastelló’s CEO.

In 2020, shipping company MSC discontinued its contractual relationship with APM Terminals due to the steep increase in charges which made it less competitive. Its return is one of the key goals the Chairman of the Port Authority has set for the port to become a base for exporting finished goods from the province’s ceramic tile industry.

In his opening remarks, Rubén Ibáñez underscored his commitment to the ceramic tile industry to ensure that new container lines can call at the port. This will make it more cost-effective for the ceramic tile sector to export and avoid transiting to Valencia, which translates into fewer emissions and greater environmental benefits.

Rubén Ibáñez said MSC’s possible return means “the ceramic tile industry has a world-class shipping company in Castellon next to its production sites to export finished goods.” He added that “the Port of Castellon is not only a commitment by the large shipping companies but should also be a hub for the province’s businesses, especially for tile makers when it comes to exporting their finished goods which make all of us who identify with Castellon province so proud.”

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