The Port of Barcelona closed the financial year with operating profits of 60 million euros and investments of 105.4 million euros, mainly in new infrastructure such as the construction of the Prat Wharf, the enlargement of the South Quay, the new building at the Border Inspection Post (BIP) and repairing and improving breakwaters and quays.
Net turnover was 158 million euros, which represents a 6% reduction on the previous year.The entry into force of the new Port Law and the effects of the Port’s commercial policy (aimed at subsidising port duties and reducing costs of port operators) have resulted in a decrease of 9% in port duties in comparison to 2010.
In 2011, the Port of Barcelona generated cash flow of 78 million euros. In 2012, the Port of Barcelona expects to invest a total of 193 million euros in different infrastructure and initiatives to boost the hinterland (internal market).
Leading Spanish Port
In terms of income (16% ofthe port system total),profits for the year (24% of the total) as well as cash flow (18% of the total), the Port of Barcelona is the leading port in Spain. Barcelona is also the leading port of the Western Mediterranean in terms of financial results, hinterland traffic (import and export), level of investment, regular lines and rail services.
The president of the Port of Barcelona, Sixte Cambra, pointed out that apart from the launching of the new TerCat-Hutchison terminal in the Prat Wharf, 2012 will be an eventful year in terms of infrastructure and investment: “This year operations will commence at the new Meroil-Lukoil terminal at the Energy Quay, Grimaldi will commence works at their short sea shipping terminal (SSS), Creuers del Port de Barcelona will start managing the new cruise terminal in Singapore and Port Vell (Barcelona’s city-port) will house the new Competitive Ocean Sailing Visitor Centre, among other initiatives”.
Sixte Cambra underlined the significant impact these investments will have on the regional economy: “We are creating a major port that will generate employment and become the driving force of Catalonia’s economy”.
Container traffic in the Port de Barcelona surpassed 2 million TEU (one TEU equalling a 20 foot container) in 2011, representing a 4% increase on the previous year. Throughput in the Port de Barcelona (including containers and all other cargo) reached 44.2 million tons, representing a slight increase of 0.4%. The increase in traffic was mainly centred on the first half of the year, while port activity slowed down over the following months to the end of the year.
The rate of growth in exports has significantly determined traffic results in the Port de Barcelona. The Catalan infrastructure channelled a total of 511.096 TEU into foreign markets, representing an increase of 14% on the previous year. China, the Arab Emirates and Turkey were the principal destinations for these goods.
A boost in exports
The remarkable boost in export traffic demonstrates the growing efforts made by Catalan companies to compete on an international level and position their products in the global marketplace. Other key destinations for traffic handled in the Port de Barcelona include Algeria, USA, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, South Korea, and India. Such a variety of markets is testimony to the dynamism of the country’s business sector as well as their sales strategy to diversify as much as possible.
Apart from containerized goods, one of the best results in the port area was in the traffic of new vehicles. In 2011 specialized terminals in the Port de Barcelona handled a total of 630.102 cars, representing an increase of 14% in relation to the previous year.
In this case also, growth was principally due to the boost in exports. Last year the Port channelled nearly 350,000 new vehicles into various foreign markets (principally Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and America), a 25% increase on 2010. However, imported vehicles amounted to 134.720 units in 2011, some 8 per cent over figures for the previous year.
On the other hand, seaborne trade via Short Sea Shipping lines (SSS) has experienced moderated growth at 4%, a figure that remained constant throughout the second half of the year. The Catalan capital has established SSS connections with Italy (Genoa, Civitavecchia, Livorno and Porto Torres) and North Africa (Tangiers and Tunis). These maritime services combine Ro-Ro cargo (trucks, platforms, vans and trailers) with passengers.
Dredging Today Staff, April 26, 2012; Image: portdebarcelona