The history of the national port sector is marked by events and reforms that have made it an important tool of foreign trade in a globalized environment since the beginning of the new millennium. Four major periods are significant in the history of Moroccan ports.
The period prior to 1963
Prior to 1963, Morocco’s ports, the first of which being the port of Casablanca, were placed under delegated management and outsourced to private companies, which handled all commercial activities and took charge of equipment maintenance. Included among these companies was Manutention Marocaine, who ensured the port of Casablanca’s commercial exploitation. The State undertook the burden of major infrastructure projects as well as the acquisition of new equipment.
The period 1963-1984, marked the creation of the Régie Autonome du Port de Casablanca (RAPC), or the Autonomous Authority of Casablanca Port. It was founded in 1963 and was responsible for the operation of the port as well as the acquisition and maintenance of new equipment while the State kept its public powers, control of infrastructures, and network management.
The period 1984-2006 was marked by the creation of the Moroccan Harbors Development Office (ODEP). The reorganization of the sector in 1984 redefined the roles of various entities involved in the ports as well as their relationships. The State continued to exercise its public power through planning and executing port infrastructure work. The newly created Moroccan Harbors Development Office runs commercial ports, while the private sector retains its past prerogatives, especially on-board handling. This first reform, particularly the creation of ODEP, was a significant qualitative leap as evidenced by the development of infrastructure serviced by responsive and efficient equipment.
The post-2006 period has marked the establishment of comprehensive sector reform and the creation of a Port Authority, the National Ports Agency (ANP). The 2006 reform and restructuring of management and port operation procedures enabled the clarification of the roles and missions of each, uniqueness in the handing chain, liberalization of both port operation and funding (concessions) management, and the definition of a legal and regulatory framework (Law15-02) for the performance of all port activities.