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Skip Navigation · Home · Innovation and digitization, the great commitment of Spanish ports
Innovation and digitization, the great commitment of Spanish ports

Ports make Spain the main logistics platform of the European Union

Innovation and digitization, the great commitment of Spanish ports


  • Ports 4.0 and SIMPLE, projects at the service of intermodality.
  • More than 14 million tons of goods moved by railway have an origin/destination at a Spanish port in 2018.
  • The 137 million tons of goods in transit, destined for third countries, represent a quarter of the total moved in Spanish ports.


25-06-2019 (Ministry of Development). The Spanish port system will once again deploy its logistical and multimodal potential at the 21st edition of the International Logistics Fair (SIL) to be held from 25 to 27 June in Barcelona. Puertos del Estado, grouped in a stand together with the rest of the companies that make up the Development Group, is presented with the aim of consolidating the perception of Spain as the ideal connection to attract not only import/export of goods between Spain and the main neuralgic centers of the European economy, but also as a base for maritime transit, particularly from other continents such as Africa, the Americas and Asia.


In this edition of the main logistics encounter in Southern Europe, Puertos del Estado wants to highlight the involvement of the Spanish port system with the innovation processes that are gaining prominence in the digitalization of transport, and which will provide the basis for facilitating a rapid evolution called to revolutionize the transport and services industries. Open transport data policies will make it possible not only to centralize information and make it accessible, but also to promote initiatives that bring about significant improvements in the services provided to port users. The creation of the "Ports 4.0" Fund, endowed with €25 million, will support the generation of innovative, imaginative and even disruptive ideas or projects, with a tangible innovative component applicable to one or more ports, taking advantage of the economy of scale provided by working within the framework of a system such as the port of general interest.


Another recently presented project is the Technological Platform SIMPLE (simplification of processes to improve logistics). Created by the Ministry of Development, with the participation of ADIF and Puertos del Estado, it will have an investment of €5.26 million The initiative proposes the development of an open and collaborative technological platform that serves as a homogeneous online tool to ensure interoperability between the different modes of transport. This will be done through the electronic exchange of information that allows the integrated management of all data and documents in the multimodal logistics chain, as well as knowing the traceability of goods in the different means of transport. It will lead to a significant improvement in competitiveness and contribute to improving efficiency and facilitating a more rational use of infrastructure, as well as optimizing transport and distribution flows of goods, while generating new business opportunities.




Spain, with its ports at the forefront, plays a preponderant role in the context of world transport. With more than 563 million tons moved in 2018, a historic record, with an increase of 3.3% over the previous year, the state-owned port system has become an essential part of transport at the service of the economy. 1,400 products of all types, dimensions and weights were handled in the port facilities, and around 85% of imports and 60% of Spanish exports move through the ports.


Interconnected with railways and roads, our ports have made intermodality a hallmark of their logistics offer, a reality that makes Spain the best connection in Europe to the rest of the world. The movement of goods by rail with origin/destination in ports exceeded 14 million tons in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, with more than 3.1 million tons, has increased by 26.6% over the previous year. Similarly, goods in transit to third countries amounted to 148 million tons in 2018, an increase of 7.8% over 2017. This figure means that 26.3% of the goods moved have used the port facilities as transit platforms.


Goods in Transit 2017-2018


Lastly, special attention should be paid to ro-ro traffic, industrial vehicles loaded with goods that are loaded in ports to avoid long road journeys, which in 2018 meant the movement of more than 62 million tons, with an increase of 6.7% over the previous year.


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