Barcelona port traffic increases 54% in January

48% more containers handled compared to 2017

The Port of Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné)
The Port of Barcelona (by Josep Ramon Torné) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 15, 2018 12:39 PM

The total traffic passing through the Port of Barcelona in January increased by 54% compared to the same month in 2017, according to a report released by the maritime facility.

The number of containers handled by the port also increased by 48%, reaching a total of 267,596 twenty foot containers, with exports growing by 20%.

By countries, some of those which have shown a greater increase are the United Arab Emirates (+ 29%), Algeria (+ 76%), South Korea (+ 11.6%), India (+ 29%), Vietnam ( + 32.6%) and Morocco (+ 30%).

Onward destinations

The port stated that one of the main reasons for this increase in traffic in the first month of the year is due to a rise in the number of transshipments. This is when the containers are unloaded from one ship and loaded onto another heading for a different destination.

The quantity of bulk liquids handled by the port grew by 52.4%, with natural gas seeing the biggest increase of 193%, while gasoline traffic rose by 66%.

More than 61,000 vehicles passed through the Port of Barcelona, 12% more than January 2017.


A total of 150,472 passengers were received by the port, an increase of 39%. Out of this total, 90,812 were cruise ship passengers, up 60% from last year.

The Catalan port has been following a new strategy over the last few years in order to attract cruise ships during the winter months in order to make cruise activity less seasonal.

 Barcelona port fastest growing in Europe

Traffic at the Port of Barcelona increased by 26% in 2017, compared to the previous year, according to data released by the Catalan capital’s Port Authority, exceeding a total of 61 million tonnes for the first time, making it the fastest growing port in Europe.

The president of the port, Sixte Cambra, described the figures as “more than extraordinary,” at a press conference held on Thursday, calling it a “jump in the scale” of commercial activity at the maritime facility.