MALTA – A Maritime Hub
Malta is an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, equidistant from Europe, Africa, Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. This strategic location makes owners benefit from excellent opportunities vis-à-vis to just-in-time deliveries of spares and consumables from other ports, as well as to timely crew changes. Furthermore, a good connection of flights to the major cities in Europe gives ample time for servicing vessels in other ports.
Malta is a member of the EU, Euro zone and a party to the Schengen agreement. It has adopted the Euro as its official currency. Malta enjoys economic, political and social stability and benefits from excellent international relations. Malta also has an efficient communications infrastructure and people speak English fluently.
Malta has three large natural harbours on its main island, namely the Grand Harbour, Marsamxett Harbour and Marsaxlokk Harbour. The latter being where Malta has its main cargo terminal – The Malta Freeport. Malta with its deep and sheltered natural harbours and well equipped ports offers a haven for international shipping.
The Malta Freeport has helped Malta to become a major transhipment logistic centre in the Mediterranean region. This is also advantageous to ship owners as they benefit from undergoing repairs, delivery of ship supplies as well as carry out any crew change requirements, during their cargo operations.
Malta is also widely sought for bunkering of vessels. Within the Grand Harbour, bunkers may be un/loaded ex-pipeline at Flagstone Wharf, the Deep Water Quay, and Ras Hanzir Dolphins. At the Port of Marsaxlokk bunkers may be un/loaded from San Lucian Terminals.
Offshore Bunkering operations are allocated in various areas around Malta. On arrival, vessels are allocated a relevant area by the Ports and Yachting Directorate. There are five different areas for bunkering in Malta and these are allocated depending on weather conditions.