Container exportation from Barcelona Port grew by 8.7% in 2012
The Port of Barcelona, one of southern Europe’s main transport infrastructures, continues to bring positive results. Over the last year the Catalan harbour unveiled two new container terminals, an investment to consolidate the trend of attracting greater container traffic, as the 8.7% increase shows. In addition, the number of cars transported increased by 9.8%. These figures are to be added to the 12% increase in container exports and 25% growth of car exports through Barcelona’s harbour in 2011. Besides, the port in the capital of Catalonia continues to lead the cruise ship sector in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers and almost reaching last year’s record high of 2.6 million cruisers.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Port of Barcelona, one of the main transport infrastructures in southern Europe, continues to bring positive results, despite the economic recession. In 2012, the Catalan harbour attracted higher container traffic with an 8.7% increase in container exports, according to a report presented on Wednesday by the President of Barcelona Port Authority, Sixte Cambra. This positive figure adds to last year’s trend, which has enabled it to unveil two new container terminals and an international standard-width railway over the last year in Barcelona’s port to improve its logistics capacity and operational ability. In addition, the number of cars exported through the infrastructure increased by 9.8%, providing a useful platform for the Greater Barcelona car industry to facilitate sales abroad. These two figures are to be added to the 12% increase in container exports and 25% growth of car exports through Barcelona’s harbour in 2011. However, the low demand of Spain’s internal market made import figures decrease. Therefore, the net container traffic – taking into account both export and import – only grew by 1.8% while the total amount of transported tonnes decreased by 3.6%. Besides, the port of the capital of Catalonia continues to lead the cruise ship sector in Europe, transporting 2.4 million passengers and almost reaching the record high of 2.6 million cruisers achieved in 2011. Therefore, it continues being the world’s fourth largest cruise ship port, after the top three, which are all located in the US state of Florida.
Barcelona, the main logistic hub in the South of Europe
The President of Barcelona’s Port Authority emphasised the importance of the infrastructure he manages in the “internationalisation” of the Catalan economy through exports and logistic activity, being a gateway to the Middle East, Africa and Asia as Barcelona is well connected by railway, road and air to the rest of Europe. Cambra noted that 22% of Spain’s foreign trade goes through Barcelona’s Port. In the case of Catalonia’s foreign trade the share rises to 72%. He also underlined that Barcelona’s Port, with the Zona Franca industrial district and El Prat Airport, are the main logistics hub in the South of Europe.
“The Port of Barcelona receives private investments in all its areas, from the Port Vell area [close to the city centre] to the Zone of Logistic Activities”, Cambra stated. The President of the Port Authority linked this data to the fact that Barcelona’s harbour has more than doubled its surface area in recent years, increasing from 600 hectares to 1,300 hectares of land, reaching a capacity able to handle up to 5 million TEU containers.
Cambra asks the Spanish Government to build an international-width railway
In his press conference, Cambra urged the Spanish Government to invest and build roads and an international-width railway linking up to Barcelona Port, in order not to lose any of the infrastructure’s potential. “Unfortunately, we unveiled the Tercat [container terminal] with the mobility guaranteed but with provisional access ways”, he lamented. Cambra remarked that the Port had invested €40 million of its own budget in building the provisional railway access, “which will be saturated in the mid-run”.
This is why Cambra urged the Spanish Government to build the railway access, which was already included in the Spanish Executive’s budget for 2012 with some €100 million, but work has not yet started. Barcelona’s Port would bring in 50% of this €100 million. In addition, Cambra asked that once the railway is built, the Spanish Government should improve the road access, building a 2-lane highway in each direction, going from the Port to the Llobregat highway junction.