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Skip Navigation · Home · Traffic in ports of general interest continues to catch up
Traffic in ports of general interest continues to catch up

Traffic in ports of general interest continues to catch up


  • Traffic in general goods and containers are gradually recovering
  • Francisco Toledo: Our expectations are to close this financial year at levels similar to those prior to the onset of the pandemic


25-02-2021 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda) The 46 ports of general interest of the State moved 42,292,843 tons in January 2021. Although the figure represents a decrease of 7.7% compared to January last year, the President of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, has shown the clear trend toward the recovery of trafficking: "our expectations are that at the end of this year we will recover levels similar to those prior to the beginning of the pandemic."

The turning point in the decline in port traffic was reached in July 2020 with a drop of 11.3%, and since that date traffic has been recovering month by month. Thus, in September the decrease was 10.8%, and at the end of the year, when 515.7 million tons were recorded, the decrease was 8.6%.


The greater part of that progressive recovery has been due to general goods, representing 52% of the total goods moved in the ports and this first month of the year closing with +0.2%, exceeding 21.7 million tons. Likewise, the transit of goods, which accounts for one-third of the total goods and closed the year with 156 million tons and an increase of 0.8%, remains good support, although it has experienced a slight decrease of 3.3% in the first month of the year.


Another figure contributing optimism is the progressive recovery of container traffic. More than 74% of general goods travelled in containers, 194 million tons in 2020. Thus, total container traffic exceeded 1.47 million TEUs (20-foot containers) in January 2021, of which 58% were in transit.


Bulk volumes, both liquid and solid, have decreased by 17.9 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively, albeit for very different reasons. Mobility restrictions have led to a decline in fuel demand, resulting in an increase in stocks in storage and refining plants. Thus, the most affected liquid bulk have been gasoline (-29%), crude oil (-22.3%), fuel oil (-18.5%), and natural gas (-18.2%).


Solid bulk, for its part, continues to adjust in line with the changing energy model being undertaken by most European countries, with the consumption of fossil fuels gradually decreasing. In this way, coal and petroleum coke traffic continues its downward trend (-41.3%).


Finally, passenger traffic has seen the mobility restrictions imposed between the peninsula and the islands, and with the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, have reduced their usual traffic by two-thirds, accounting for slightly less than half a million people in January. Cruise traffic has been most affected, with only 75 ships involving just 32,000 cruise passengers arriving in the first month of the year.



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Photo: Port Authority of Almería


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