Skip to content

The Most Powerful Players who Remain at the Helm of the Continent’s Ports

Two of the world’s top five, China’s Cosco Shipping Ports and Singapore’s PSA International, are completely absent from the continent, if one excludes Cosco’s minority stake (20%) in the large Egyptian terminal of Port Said, located at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. China’s Hutchison Ports, another global giant, has only gained a small foothold in Egypt. Africa is first and foremost the hunting ground of a group that has long made it its raison d’être, namely Bolloré. Although the French family-owned conglomerate, headed by Vincent Bolloré, is only marginally present in the world’s other ports (in India, Timor and Haiti, after even exiting French ports in 2019), it is the undisputed leader of the continent’s main port concession market, West Africa. More often than not, Bolloré has won bids in association with APM Terminals, the port subsidiary of the world’s (and Africa’s) number one container shipping company, Denmark’s Maersk. The two groups seem to have a lot of potential at three West African ports – Tema in Ghana, Pointe-Noire in Congo-Brazzaville, and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire – as well as a new terminal under construction, TC2. APM Terminals, in particular, is an African port success story as it is dominant in Morocco and more precisely in Tanger Med, where it controls two of the four terminals.