Malta Freeport was established in 1988. Malta Freeport is located in the heart of the world's greatest shipping routes and the Europe-West Africa-Middle East triangle. It was the first transshipment hub in the Mediterranean region, and Malta Freeport is the third busiest transshipment center in that region. It is the twelfth busiest port in Europe. Almost all of Malta Freeport's transshipment business is containerized cargo.
In 2004, container terminal activities in Malta Freeport were privatized. Malta Freeport Corporation is the overseer and landlord, and Malta Freeport Terminals (a subsidiary of CMA-CGM) operates the ports through licenses and lease agreements. Malta Freeport Corporation is the port authority overseeing four major areas: the container terminal operated by Malta Freeport Terminals, an oil terminal operated by Oiltanking Malta, a logistics base operated by Medserv for the offshore oil and gas industry, and warehousing operated by a variety of tenants.
Established in 2001, Malta Freeport Terminals operates the terminals and handles industrial storage. In 2008, Malta Freeport Terminals achieved an all-time high of 2.33 million TEUs of containerized cargo. In 2011, Malta Freeport had 1832 vessel calls and moved 2.36 million TEUs.
In addition to its strategically important physical location, Malta Freeport has invested in state-of-the-art transshipment facilities, efficient cost-effective facilities, modern computerized systems, and a skilled and experienced workforce.
Malta Freeport is the hub from which modern commercial cargo vessels relay cargoes to regional ports through frequent and regular feeder vessels, allowing customers to make fewer port calls and enjoy shorter voyage times. Malta Freeport occupies a total area of 68 hectares and has a total of 2140 meters (over seven thousand feet) of quays, over 15 thousand container ground slots, and 894 reefer points.
Dredged to 17 meters (55.8 feet), Terminal Two's North Quay at Malta Freeport can support vessels with a draft of 16 meters (52.5 feet). Terminal One's North Quay and Terminal Two's South Quay are currently being dredged to 17 meters as well. Malta Freeport is making other improvements to accommodate today's large container vessels to provide better services and faster turn-around times.
The approach channel to Malta Freeport has depths ranging from 20 to 25 meters (65.6 to 82 feet). The access fairway to the Malta Freeport inner port is 16 meters, allowing vessels with draft of up to 15 meters (49.2 feet) to berth. Vessels of 300 meters (984.2 feet) must use two pilots and three tugs in Malta Freeport.
Having incorporated state-of-the-art technology, Malta Freeport has a reputation for excellence based on its specialized real-time container terminal computer systems, Sparcs and Express. The Sparcs System allows Malta Freeport to plan, manage, and track containers through the container terminals by providing real-time information that allows Malta Freeport to maintain real-time management of the container-handling cycle and to meet the demands of unplanned traffic surges. Integrated with the Sparcs System, the Express System generates billing and statistical information and controls operations at the main gate. Express increases productivity by managing the use of automated gate control equipment and allowing gate reservations and in-lane processing.
Malta Freeport Terminals operates two container terminals: Terminal One and Terminal Two. The total container-handling capacity of Malta Freeport's container terminal infrastructure is two kilometers (1.2 miles) of quay length and 61.5 hectares of container storage. Malta Freeport Terminals operates a Border Inspection Post and a Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System at Malta Freeport's container terminals.
Occupying a total area of 45.8 hectares and containing 10,139 ground slots and 606 reefer points, Terminal One contains the North Quay and West Quay. The North Quay has a maximum water depth of 15.5 meters (50.9 feet), but it is currently being dredged to a depth of 17 meters (55.8 feet). When the dredging is completed, the North Quay at Malta Freeport's Terminal One will have a depth of 16 meters (52.5 feet). Terminal One's North Quay has a total length of one thousand meters (3281 feet) of berthing space, and the West Quay has 168 meters (551.2 feet) of berthing space.
Malta Freeport's Terminal One is equipped with 11 quayside cranes. This includes four super post-Panamax cranes with reach for 24 containers across, two super post-Panamax cranes with reach for 18 containers across, four post-Panamax cranes with reach for 16 containers across. Terminal One in Malta Freeport also has two 40.5-ton rail-mounted yard cranes, 55 rubber-tyred gantry cranes, nine reach-stackers, 124 tractors, and 190 trailers. Terminal One in Malta Freeport also has five multi-trailer tractors and 32 60-ton Gaussin SA trailers. It is also equipped with one SMV forklift, six small forklifts, and eight empty handlers.
With a total area of 22.6 hectares containing 4946 ground slots and 288 reefer points, Malta Freeport's Terminal Two contains the North, South, and West Quays and a roll-on/roll-off cargo berth. The North Quay at Terminal Two in Malta Freeport has total quay length of 480 meters (1575 feet) with a dredged depth of 17 meters (55.8 feet). The West Quay is 118 meters (387.1 feet) long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters (60 feet), and the roll-on/roll-off berth is 220 meters (722 feet) long with alongside depth of 12.3 meters (40.4 feet). The South Quay is 660 meters (2165 feet) long with alongside depth of 15.5 meters (60 feet), but it is currently being dredged to a depth of 17 meters (55.8).
Terminal Two in Malta Freeport has 12 quayside cranes that include four super post-Panamax cranes with reach of 23 containers across and eight super post-Panamax cranes with reach of 18 containers across. Terminal Two also has 55 rubber-tyred gantry cranes, nine reach-stackers, 124 tractors, and 190 trailers. Terminal Two has five multi-trailer tractors, one SMV forklift, six small forklifts, and eight empty handlers.
Oiltanking Malta Limited is a subsidiary of Oiltanking Gmbh, one of the world's biggest petroleum-product tank storage providers. In Malta Freeport, Oiltanking Malta has four tank farms with total capacity for 535 thousand cubic meters (over 3.3 million US barrels. Oiltanking Malta operates four jetties in Malta Freeport with capacity for vessels to 120 thousand DWT and maximum draft of 16 meters (52.5 feet). Oiltanking Malta handles crude and fuel oil, feedstocks, gas oil, gasoline, jet fuel, and components at Malta Freeport's Oil Terminal. It also offers services that include tank-to-tank and ship-to-ship transfers, blending, butanizing, and injecting additives.
Medserv PLC, a Malta-based logistics and support company, serves the world's most important oil and gas exploration companies. As a Malta Freeport licensed operator, Medserv occupies a five-hectare site that contains offices and covered warehouses covering 5500 square meters (59.2 thousand square feet). Medserv has exclusive use of a 200-meter (656.2-foot) deep-water quay with five thousand square meters (over 53.8 thousand square feet) of working area and a secondary quay. Medserv services supply and specialist ships moving to/from exploration rigs and platforms in Malta Freeport. The Medserv quay is equipped with a 500-ton Manitowc crane that gives the company the ability to handle heavy-lift cargoes that are standard in the oil and gas exploration industry.
Located at Malta Freeport's Terminal Two, the roll-on/roll-off berth is 220 meters (722 feet) long with alongside depth of 12.3 meters (40.4 feet). Malta Freeport is focusing on expanding its participation in transshipping cars. In April 2012, the berth handled a record 2400 cars in one day arriving on the Hoegh Manila.