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Welcome to our new website, a direct line of communication designed to enhance business relationships by providing a clear and transparent overview of our work.

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The Strait of Gibraltar, one of the most transited sea routes in the world

The Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa is an area with some of the densest maritime traffic in the world. Each year 100,000 vessels transit these waters, which amounts to more than 10% of the international traffic. 60 kilometres long and a mere 14 kilometres wide, the strait is a natural connection between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. It is a powerful testimony to the contrast between continents, cultures and seas. The port of Ceuta offers an ideal port for arriving and departing traffic in the area, and this is where our bunkering agencyin the Strait of Gibraltar can offer a wide range of technical services and provisioning to vessels looking for a smooth crossing. 

The amount of traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar means that its reputation as one of the most important marine highways in the world is well deserved. As such, it requires meticulous organisation to work properly. More than 300 vessels traverse these waters every day and do so using two separate lanes. There is even a middle lane that vessels can use under specific circumstances (as for example in an emergency or when performing complicated manoeuvres). The procedure to follow was established by the International Maritime Organisation in 1970 with the purpose of steering the volume of traffic in the area and guaranteeing safe navigation. The organisation has been modified several times since then. The coastal zone has been delimitated, for example. Such modifications have been undertaken to adapt to growing needs in the region.

Located between Spain and Morocco, with a large volume of traffic and an undisputed strategical value, the Strait of Gibraltar also has some peculiar characteristics that must be kept in mind. This is where the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, and the result of this are strong and variable tidal currents during the day. The funnel shape of the strait, with cliffs on both sides, also creates very strong winds (above all easterly and westerly) that can reach a speed of 40 to 50 knots near the rocks. The appearance of fog banks, especially when temperatures are rising, also means that crossing the strait requires extreme caution.

This compact sea route, the only entranceway to the Mediterranean Sea and the shortest way across to Europe, has been serviced bySalama, Shipping Agents since 1856, supplying everything that ships in the area might possibly need. Some examples of our services are:

  • Fuel stops in the Strait of Gibraltar

  • Provisioning for vessels of all kinds

  • Healthcare provision

  • Crew changes

  • Spare parts

  • Documentation and journals, such as nautical charts

  • Off-port limit calls

  • Locating faults

  • Cash deliveries

As a matter of fact, our company was the leading company for provisioning and consignments of vessels in Ceuta last year. Examples of vessels we service in the cruise industry are the great Sapphire Princess (Princess Cruises) and the impressive Koningsdam (Holland America Line). Our team at Salama was in charge of facilitating the visit for a large number of vessels choosing the Strait of Gibraltar for longer and shorter stopovers.

José Salama y CIA S.L CIF: B29901303 Avd. Juan Carlos I Rey 12, 1ºD Melilla, España. Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de Melilla. Tomo 19, sección 2,ª Folio 95, Hoja 348