The connection of the to a rail corridor into France “is essential for achieving the Port of Barcelona’s strategic objective of becoming the main gateway in the south of Europe and the Mediterranean for cargo, principally from Asia” said Sixte Cambra, president of the Barcelona Port Authority (APB).
The rail corridor will also allow a more sustainable and balanced logistics system to be created between the north and south of the European continent. In excess of 18m containers are transported each year by sea between Asia and Europe, via the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. However, 75% of this cargo volume is unloaded in northern European ports before redistribution to the rest of the continent through a broad network of rail and inland waterway connections. By contrast, only 25% of this cargo is unloaded in Mediterranean ports.
The new rail infrastructure will help redress this balance, and also contribute to more efficient logistic chains and global cargo flows. “The rail corridor will have a decisive impact on the ability of Mediterranean ports to gain a greater share of this cargo, allowing shipping companies to reduce their transit time by three or four days in relation to northern European ports, with the corresponding reduction in CO² and NOx emissions and considerable savings in fuel and operating costs”, declared Cambra.