Historic record in August of export containers at Barcelona Port

The Port of Barcelona registered a record in the number of containers destined to international exports. China has consolidated its position as the main destination of containers departing from Barcelona. In addition, the number of cruisers boomed by 17% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year.


September 23, 2011 12:48 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona is consolidating month by month its position as the first sea port in Europe for the number of cruise passengers and is becoming one of the main ports for container transport. In August, the Port of Barcelona registered an historical record with 50,000 containers destined for export, 16% of them going to China. In fact, China has become the main destination country for containers leaving Barcelona. The figure is likely to grow massively in the next few years, when the Chinese company Hutchison Port Holdings unveils the new container terminal. It will be the most advanced terminal in the Mediterranean and the largest in Spain. It will have 1,500 metres to dock cargo ships and eight train lines, in Spanish and European-width standard. In addition, last January, the Port of Barcelona was connected to the French border by international-width train tracks, enabling the transport of containers non-stop by train from Northern and Central Europe to a ship docked at Barcelona’s port. This infrastructure explains the boom that container transport through Barcelona’s port is experiencing in 2011. In addition, the number of cruiser ships boomed by 17% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year.

During the first eight months of 2011, the number of containers going through Barcelona increased by 19% compared to the same period in 2010, according to data released by the Port of Barcelona’s Authority. Between January and August, the port dealt with 1.4 million TEU containers. When the new terminal is operative, the capacity to handle annually another 2.65 million TEU containers will be possible. At end of August, 20.6 million tons of goods were transported through Barcelona, 6%  more than in the same period last year.

China, the first destination

China has consolidated its position as the main destination of the containers exported from Barcelona. 16% of all the containers coming from Barcelona are unloaded in China. The entire South-East Asia region is the destination of 31% of the containers leaving the Catalan capital. The top region is the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, which gets 56% of the departing container traffic. Some regions are increasing their share significantly this year, such as North Africa, to which 15% of the containers were sent during the first eight months of 2011. The Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea also increased the number of exports, and totalled 13% of the departing traffic.

New vehicles are the most transported goods

New vehicles are the most transported type of goods passing through Barcelona’s port. Between January and August, 417.313 containers transporting cars and other vehicles have been loaded or unloaded in Barcelona, which means 15% more than in the first eight months of 2010. The Barcelona Metropolitan Area has several car manufacturers and related industries, such as SEAT, Nissan or Ficosa. Barcelona is not only a significant car production centre, but a logistics platform.

17% more passengers than last year

A total of 566 cruise ships stopped at Barcelona in the first eight months of the year, which represents an increase of 7%. However, in terms of passengers transported, the growth is significant. Between January and August 2011, 1.7 million cruise ship passengers passed through Barcelona. It means a 17% increase compared to the same period in 2010.

Regarding the number of passengers, 2.6 million people have travelled through Barcelona Port during the first eight months of 2011. It means 13% more than last year. 5% of all those passengers travelled using regular ferry lines.