Vigorous Recovery of Port Traffic: 265 million tons moved in the first half of the year
- Container freight, at 99.3 million tons, already exceeds 2019 data
23-07-2021 (Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda). The 46 ports of general interest of the State handled 264,995,587 tons in the first half of the year, an increase of +4.5% compared to the same period in 2020..
It should be noted that nine Port Authorities (Cadiz, Castellon, Las Palmas, Malaga, Pasaia, Santander, Valencia, Vigo and Vilagarcia), representing 30% of the system, have recorded more traffic in the first half of 2021 than in 2019 (pre-pandemic), with a remarkable joint growth of 5% over 2019 and 14% over 2020, which is an unmistakable sign of vigorous recovery.
According to the president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo, "if we continue with this growth curve, by the end of this year or early 2022 we will recover the traffic volume prior to the pandemic, thanks to the increase in exports."
With respect to the type of goods by form of presentation, all types, except liquid bulk, have experienced growth. Thus, general cargo, at 137.6 million tons, grew by +9.9% compared to 2020 data, and narrowed the gap compared to 2019 to -1.3%. Precisely in this group of goods, containerized goods, at 99.3 million tons, already exceed the figures of 2019. In this group, the increases experienced by construction materials at +31.6%, machinery, apparatus, tools, and spare parts at +17.4%, iron and steel products at +16.5%, and chemical products at +3.4%, are the ones that stand out.
Liquid bulks, with 81.1 million tons, decreased by -6% compared to 2020, and accumulated a drop of -12.9% compared to 2019 data. In this group, the decreases were mainly in natural gas discharges, -12.8%, fuel oil, -4.9%, and crude oil, -3.8%. The good news is that other products such as biofuels, with 3.1 million tons in the first half of the year, grew by 15.3%.
Solid bulk, with 40.7 million tons moved in the first half of the year, grew by 10.5% over the same period in 2020. As has been the case in previous months, the movement of coal continues to decline, at -16.3%. However, there was growth in the movement of products such as iron ore, +69.4%, cement and clinker, +27.6%, and animal feed and fodder, +8.7%.
Container traffic, the most widespread form for the transport of general goods, with 8,746,197 TEUs (20-foot containers) grew by +8.6%, and virtually matched the 2019 figures.
Finally, passenger traffic, weighed down by the cancellation of the Crossing the Strait Operation and the restrictions imposed on cruise traffic on international routes until last June, is recovering more slowly than expected. Total passenger traffic barely exceeded 5 million people, a -16% reduction compared to 2020, a figure that is bulkier when compared to 2019, at -66.9%.
For more information: