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Barcelona’s port breaks new record: Freight traffic exceeds one million containers in the first half of 2016

The Port of Barcelona continues to break records. During the first half of 2016, the number of containers handled, a reliable indicator of economic activity, exceeded one million, the best figure ever registered for a six-month period. This represents a growth of 13% in comparison to the same period last year, according to Port de Barcelona’s President, Sixte Cambra. Freight traffic in the Port of Barcelona made up a total of 24.2 million tonnes, which is 4% more than the same period last year and the amount of exports grew by 54% in comparison to the record figure registered in 2008. According to Cambra, these figures “consolidate the recovery of freight traffic and accelerate the figures of the Port of Barcelona’s activity”.

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20 July 2016 05:36 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Port of Barcelona, one of the main transport infrastructures in southern Europe, continues to return positive figures. The number of containers handled at this facility during the first half of 2016 exceeded one million, the best figure ever registered in a six-month period. This represents a growth of 13% in comparison to the same period last year, according to Port de Barcelona’s President, Sixte Cambra. Moreover, the amount of exports registered in this period exceeded by 54% the record figure registered in 2008. According to Cambra, these figures “consolidate the recovery of freight traffic and accelerate the figures of the Port of Barcelona’s activity”. 


Container traffic in the Port of Barcelona made up a total of 24.2 million tonnes, which is 4% more than the same period last year. An important increase was registered in the TEU, the reference unit for cargo ships, equivalent to 20-feet containers, which reached 264,624 units, 11% more than in the first half of 2015. Containers destined for export totalled 323,580 units, a 4% increase in comparison to the same period last year.  

The automotive industry largely explains the good times experienced by the Port of Barcelona, which transported over half a million vehicles in the six months through to June, a record for the first half of the year which, if maintained, will complete a new high after a historic 2015. Adding together imports and exports, 477,202 vehicles were moved through the facilities in this period and the total for the year is heading toward one million.

Profit in the first six months of 2016 grew by 30%

Turnover at Barcelona’s port has climbed to 76.1 million euros, an increase of 1% compared with the first half of 2015. Net profit was 19.1 million, 30% more than in the same period last year. Cambra explained that this good figure is explained by an early repayment of a loan of 47.5 million euros lent by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which meant a 60% reduction in financial costs. Outstanding debt at the end of June stood at 356.6 million euros, 15% less than that registered in June 2015.  

New plan to improve air quality

The board of the Port also announced this Wednesday the submission of a new plan to improve air quality in the harbour. Although no major details have been advanced yet, the Port de Barcelona’s General Director, José Alberto Carbonell acknowledged that there will be “a special focus on pollution generated by cargo ships and cruise ships”, the activity which has the most major impact on the environment.

According to Carbonell, the ideal solution to mitigate pollution vessels would be the usage of fuel made of liquefied natural gas. Although this is option is still embryonic, Port de Barcelona’s General Director pointed out that the number of ships using this fuel is increasing. In 2015, only 77 ships worldwide used this kind of fuel, while in the first half of 2016 alone, this number has already been surpassed.

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  • Operating cranes in Barcelona's port (by ACN)