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Skip Navigation · Home · Port traffic recovers ground during the month of August
Port traffic recovers ground during the month of August

With 43 million tonnes shifted, the decrease is 10% compared to the same month last year


Port traffic recovers ground during the month of August


  • Toledo: The signs of recovery in port cargo traffic are confirmed, as shown by the increase in general cargo in containers, which has grown by 4.6% during the month of August.



24-09-2020 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda) All the ports of general interest of the State moved 43.4 million tonnes last August, which has meant a decrease of 10% compared to the same month in 2019. Total goods moved during the first eight months of the year amounted to 339 million tonnes, 11.1% less than the previous year.


The President of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, has stated that "there is already a certain recovery in port traffic, as shown by the increase in general merchandise in containers which has grown by 4.6% during the month of August. These results confirm the forecasts we made from Puertos del Estado, both in the percentage of annual traffic reduction, and in the recovery from the second half of the year.


Regarding its form of presentation, the general cargo has been the most voluminous with 21.98 million tonnes in August, with an increase of 0.34% compared to August 2019. In the annual calculation, from January to August, there are 168.8 million tonnes shifted with a decrease of 9%. Natural fertilizers (+14.7%), oils and fats (+14.1%), cereals (+9.6%), and feed and fodder (+4.6%) are the main contributors to the recovery.


Liquid bulk, the second largest traffic group, reached 14.2 million in August, down 19.5% from August 2019. In annual accumulation, liquid bulk totals 114.9 million tonnes, with an accumulated decrease of 9.5%. The most significant decreases have been due to biofuels (-21.9%) and crude oil (-16.5%). Other products, such as natural gas (+8%) and chemicals (+2.2%) have experienced growth.


Solid bulk, the last large group of goods, with 6.4 million tonnes shifted in the month of August continues its downward trend (-15.5%), adding in the annual calculation a decrease of 19.2%. Products such as iron ore (-45.6%), coal (-37.5%), cereals (-20.2%), or cement (-11.4%), are weighing down the results of this group. It should be noted that the fall in coal traffic is due to decarbonization, as a result of the closure of coal-fired power stations, and therefore this traffic will not recover.


The transit of goods through the Spanish ports to third countries remains high, representing 1/3 of the total traffic, and during the month of August, with 13.2 million tonnes, it only fell by 1.3%. In the annual calculation, with more than 100 million tonnes shifted, the drop was 5.34%. This shows that Spain continues to be a privileged enclave on the shipping routes between continents.


Finally, the collapse of passenger traffic, particularly cruise ships, which has practically disappeared in recent months due to the health measures imposed, is confirmed. Similarly, regular line traffic, despite the more than 2 million passengers in August, fell by 58.4%. In the annual total, total passenger traffic was reduced by 62.2% with only 9.8 million passengers.


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