Maritime transport, and in particular container transport, has become an essential link in global supply chains over the last decades. The direct impact of the Covid-19 crisis during the first months of 2020 implied an adaptation to the conditions imposed by the health emergency. However, the adaptation to a “new normality” raises questions about the future organisation of maritime transport and the functioning of ports. In addition, there are other aspects prior to the outbreak of the health crisis to consider, such as the effects of adaptation to climate change, the processes of vertical and horizontal integration of the maritime industry in recent years or, the process of digitalisation.
In the Western Mediterranean, facing these uncertainties takes on special importance due to its position in global container flows and their interrelation with trans-Mediterranean flows, the existence and planning of large port infrastructures and the special impact expected from the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean area. Consequently, the restoration of normality will imply important challenges for the maritime transport sector in the Western Mediterranean.