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Barcelona’s throughput rockets by 32% in 2017
Transhipment was a major factor in the port's growth. Credit: Mhobl/ flickr

Barcelona’s throughput rockets by 32% in 2017

Container traffic at Spain’s Port of Barcelona shot up by 32.3% in 2017 after the facility handled nearly 3m teu.

The growth, which led to Barcelona dubbing itself ‘the fastest growing European port’, was largely influenced by a sharp rise of 137% in transhipment containers.

Elsewhere import traffic grew by 8.3% to 561,103 teu and export traffic grew by 2.6% to 705,204 teu.

A company statement said: “These figures indicate a significant degree of recovery compared to pre-crisis levels. Reactivation of traffic in export containers had already begun in 2010, but it is worth noting that in 2017 the Port of Barcelona channelled 68% more of this type of cargo than in 2007.”

The all-time record for imported containers, which was set in 2007, was also broken in 2017 by a margin of 3%.

In 2017 China continued to be the port’s main trading partner. More than 44% of imports come from the Asian country, while 11.6% of exports headed there.

Economically the port also performed well. Net turnover was up by 7% year-on-year to €167m (US$206.4m) and profit was up by 50% to €50m (US$61.8m). Cash flow grew by 15% to €99m (US$122m) and the facility reduced its debt by 8% to €281m (US$347.2m).

In other cargo areas liquid bulk volumes hit a record high after growing by 27% to 14.4m tonnes while dry bulk volumes grew by 1% to 4.4m tonnes. Ro-ro traffic increased by 6.2% to 393,601 intermodal transport units.