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Skip Navigation · Home · Port traffic grew by 19% in the month of May
Port traffic grew by 19% in the month of May

The annual accumulated amount for the year from January-May, with more than 220 million tons of merchandise, reaches an increase of +3.2%

Port traffic grew by 19% in the month of May


  • Francisco Toledo: The ports, which are a true reflection of how the economy is progressing, continues to gain ground as we overcome the effects of the pandemic.
  • The differences with 2019 traffic levels continue to decrease and stand at -7.3% in terms of total traffic.
  • All forms of presentation grew, especially solid bulks, by +38.6%, and general merchandise by +19.3%.


22-06-2021 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda). The traffic of goods through the 46 general interest ports of the State managed by Puertos del Estado reached 45,344,757 during the month of May, which meant an increase of 18.8% compared to the same month in the previous year. The president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, sees these data as being very promising: as we overcome the pandemic, the ports will continue to gain ground and, as a faithful reflection of the progress of a country's economy, they forecast a fiscal year in positive numbers.

If the data for 2021 are compared with the year 2019, prior to the pandemic, it can be seen that there is still a long way to go to surpass the data for 2019, which was a record year for the port system which exceeded 564.5 million tons. In the first five months of this year, the difference between the two years reflects a decrease of -7.3%, although there are certain forms of presentation such as general merchandise in containers that recover more quickly, growing slightly by +0.04 %, or import-export containerized goods which grew by +0.73%. Notwithstanding the foregoing, according to the forecasts made it is very possible that at the end of this fiscal year we will reach figures very similar to 2019 in terms of freight traffic, but we will have to wait until 2022 for this recovery to be reflected in passenger traffic.


All forms of presentation of merchandise show an improvement in data compared to the same month of the previous year, especially solid bulks, which with 6.8 million tons grew by +38.6%. Moreover, with the progressive elimination of mobility restrictions, passenger traffic has largely been restored and went from 216,936 passengers in May 2020 to 1,074,549 in May 2021.


General merchandise, which features the highest numbers with more than 23.2 million tons in the month of May, grew by +19.3%, and added 114.2 million tons in the first five months of the year. Products such as construction materials (+32.5%), iron and steel products (+11.7%), feed and fodder (+10.5%), and to a lesser extent paper and pulp (+2%) were the ones that grew the most.


Liquid bulk, the second largest group of merchandise, added 14.4 million tons in May which represented an increase of +10.2%. In the annual accumulated amount of the first five months, 67.5 million tons were recorded, which represents a decrease of -7.8% compared to the previous year. Among the main products of this group, the decrease in gasoline (-19.3%), natural gas (-15.4%) and crude oil (-6.8%) were of special note, while biofuels increased (+14.2%).


Solid bulk, with figures of 6.8 million tons in May, grew by +38.6%, accumulating 33.7 million tons in the first five months of the year and resulting in an increase of +9%. In this group, the decrease in coal, which remained at -14.5%, was offset by the rise in iron ore (+78.8%) and construction materials, especially cement and clinker (+26.8%) and feed and fodder (+16%).


The increases experienced by goods in transit (+4.2%), roll-on/roll-off traffic (+36.1%) and container traffic (+16.2%) confirm the data obtained in the month of May.


Finally, the improvement in passenger traffic has been reflected both in the traffic of regular lines and in the traffic of national cruise ships that added more than 1.1 million passengers in both regards. We predict that over the next few months there will be a progressive recovery of international cruise ships once the lifting of the ban on their operation was announced on 7 June.


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