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Skip Navigation · Home · Ports of general interest moved 515.7 million tons in 2020
Ports of general interest moved 515.7 million tons in 2020

With a decrease of 8.65% compared to 2019


Ports of general interest moved 515.7 million tons in 2020


  • Francisco Toledo: We have positioned ourselves in a situation that allows us to face 2021 with optimism.
  • Containerized general cargo along with transit cargoes have palliated the declines in bulk cargoes



27-01-2021 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda) The Spanish port system closed the 2020 financial year with 515,682,392 tons moved, a decrease of 8.65% over the previous year.


The president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, has valued the results positively, remembering that in the first half year of 2020 we predicted a negative closing that could make us lose between 10-16% of traffic. During this fiscal year we will see a gradual recovery in traffic, reaching figures similar to 2019.

Despite closing the year with widespread decline in all forms of presenting cargo, general cargo, which contributes most value to the revenue of the ports, accounting for about 52% of the total moved, has in the last four months recovered much of what has been lost since the beginning of the pandemic. Products such as fertilizers, oils, fruits and vegetables have contributed with their increases, reaching 261.6 million tons moved, reducing the decline to -4.5% compared to 2019.


Liquid bulk, the second largest cargo group with 167.1 million tons, 33% of the total, fell by 10.7%, brought down by the drop in biofuels, crude oil and fuel oil, though there have also been products that have increased, such as diesel oil.


Solid bulk, with 77 million tons moved, 15.2% of the total, have added another month of decline, with a drop in coal traffic (-24.3%) due to the agreement to close coal-fired power plants in order to mitigate climate change, and some construction products like cement (-9%) and asphalt (-6.7%).


Fortunately, the strategic position of Spanish ports in the context of world trade and the main maritime routes have allowed cargo in transit to continue growing to 156 million tons, +0.8% more than in 2019; meaning that the ratio of 1/3 of the cargo moved in our ports with other countries as a final destination is maintained in our context.


Passenger traffic has been undoubtedly one of the most affected by the pandemic. Thus, the total number of passengers, both regular and cruise lines, has decreased by 64.5%, reaching 13.3 million passengers. This drop has been much more pronounced in the case of cruise ships. Out of the 1.37 million passengers recorded in 2020, practically 80% of these passengers travelled during the months of January and February, prior to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Barely 260,000 cruise passengers have been counted during the last ten months.


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