General Cargo Port Traffic Recovers and Reaches Figures Similar to Those of the Previous Year in February.
- Containerized general cargo experienced a 3.5% increase over the first two months of the previous year.
- Francisco Toledo: "The recovery in traffic will be gradual and we expect to see widespread growth throughout the second half of the year."
25-03-2021 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda). Cargo traffic through the 46 ports of general interest of the State, managed by 28 Port Authorities and coordinated by Puertos del Estado, exceeded 40.4 million tons during the month of February, a decrease of 6.2% compared to the same month of the previous year. According to Francisco Toledo, president of Puertos del Estado, these data confirm the recovery trend that the ports have been experiencing since the second half of 2020.
The strength of general cargo, at similar levels to last year, and in particular, the growth of containerized cargo, with more than 15.5 million tons moved in February, and 32.2 million (+3.5%) in the first two months of the year, are the strongholds of port traffic at the moment. "It will be a progressive recovery of port traffic, and we expect that there will be generalized growth during the second half of the year," said Francisco Toledo.
11 of the 28 Port Authorities have closed the first two months of the year with positive percentages in total goods moved; Almeria (+58.1%), Malaga (+37.9%) and Vilagarcia de Arousa (+20.1%) being the ones that grew the most, and two others, Las Palmas and Vigo, with decreases of less than 1%. These data have allowed the cumulative total of the 28 Port Authorities to recover part of the ground lost last year with a total traffic of 82.9 million tons in the first two months of the year, and a decrease of 6.7%.
Limitations on mobility and European decarbonization policies are contributing to bulk traffic, both liquid and solid, to continue to suffer declines, although the decline in liquid bulk in February (-13.2%) has improved compared to January (-17.9%), due to products such as biofuels and gasoil. Solid bulk continues to fall, with coal as the main product (-28%), although other products such as iron ore (+48.8%), animal feed and fodder (+42.2%), or cement and clinker (+5.8%) grew with respect to the previous year.
Containerized goods in transit, which account for 2/3 of total goods in transit, exceeded 20 million tons in the first two months of the year, growing by 4.6%.
Lastly, passenger traffic continues awaiting the full recovery of mobility, and though regular lines between the Peninsula and the Islands and between the islands, as well as with the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, continue to operate, as evidenced by the nearly one million passengers who embarked in the first two months of the year, cruise traffic, waiting for the main companies in the sector to decide on restarting their operations, recorded a decline of 94%, with only 64,000 passengers in the first two months of the year.
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