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Skip Navigation · Home · General interest ports moved 174.8 million tons during the first four months of the year
General interest ports moved 174.8 million tons during the first four months of the year

Port traffic in the month of April has fallen by 10% when compared to the same month last year

General interest ports moved 174.8 million tons during the first four months of the year


  • An aggregate decrease of -6.2% was registered during the first four months.


06-02-2020 (Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda). The 46 State-owned general interest ports moved 174,814,882 tons between January and April 2020, representing a 6.2% aggregate fall for the year. This fall, which could be misleading given that port traffic during the first two months of the year was positive, is even more obvious if we compare the months of April 2019 and 2020. In April 2020, when the impact of the state of alarm became apparent as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.9 million tons less were moved than in April 2019, representing a 10% fall.


By type of presentation, solid bulk is still accumulating decreases, down to 25.8 million tons in this four-month period, with an aggregate fall of 17%. This fall is largely connected to the change of energy model that is being implemented in Spain's industrial sector, which has overruled the use of fossil fuels (mainly coal) as a source of energy.


However, liquid bulk has registered a slight 0.7% increase up to more than 60.3 million tons. This increase is mainly due to a rise in traffic such as natural gas (+36.8%) and chemical products (+22%).


General cargo, both conventional and in containers, has respectively fallen by 10.9% and 4.6%, representing an overall decrease of 6.4%, reaching 85 million tons moved during the first four months of the year.


Cargo in transit, with third countries as its final destination, representing 1/3 of the total handled at Spanish ports, has fallen by 1.4%, exceeding 50.1 million tons.


Likewise, ro-ro traffic, industrial vehicles loaded with cargo that disembark to complete certain routes, has decreased 12.5% down to 18.8 million tons.


Total passenger traffic has decreased 44.5%, barely reaching 5 million passengers. This fall has been much more obvious in cruise ship traffic, which decreased 53.4% during the first four months, and has been practically nil since last March. It should be recalled that the measures imposed in the state of alarm, entailing a closing down of borders, has prevented passenger boarding/disembarkment by sea, except for events of force majeure authorized by the Ministry of Health and/or Government Offices.


Finally, the number of ships that crossed Spain's ports during the first four months of the year totaled 39,549 vessels, representing a 19.7% fall.


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