This article appeared in the ‘Connecting Malta to mainland Europe’ supplement by ATTO published with The Sunday Times of Malta on April 7, 2024

It is not always so evident how vital and important is effective maritime connectivity for Malta. In simple terms, sea connectivity has always been the lifeline for Malta. Our lifestyle and economic growth are shaped by the type of shipping services that are available. Changes or developments relating to such services will impact virtually, directly or indirectly our well-being and the economic model.

 Over the last years, shipping services connecting Malta to mainland Europe and indeed the rest of the world have contributed to economic growth and prosperity in view that as an island State much is dependent on external trade. Liner services that offer regular, frequent, scheduled services are the essential link in the transport chain. Ports are the vital node that connect land and sea and enable communities and goods to move from one country to another. Scheduled liner services offered in Malta cater for containers, trailers and other freight units and also passengers: in particular those that opt to travel by a vehicle both for business or leisure.

The Authority, through its wide competence covering all modes of transport has a critical role

Such maritime services are nowadays available by various shipping lines on a daily and weekly basis. As the incoming CEO at Transport Malta, I recognise that the Authority, through its wide competence covering all modes of transport has a critical role in ascertaining that ships calling experience a seamless and efficient port call, that freights arrive at their ultimate destination in a timely manner and that passengers and commuters have a positive experience. All this should take place without compromising safety.

The Authority will continue to endeavour to upgrade and invest in port infrastructure including decarbonisation, safety and security, and to maintain the highest service levels. My intention is to keep an open dialogue with all stakeholders and service providers to ensure that maritime connectivity remains on the forefront of priorities and that together we continue to ascertain sustainable and cost-effective transport solutions.

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