The Port of Barcelona closed 2021 with a turnover of 151 million euros, up 9% year-on-year, according to the company’s press release. This good news goes in the direction of the increase in the flow of goods, even if, as Damià Calvet, president of the port of Barcelona explained this morning, “the recovery in traffic exceeds the increase in turnover because this the latter includes the Port of Barcelona’s economic aid package to promote economic recovery and mitigate the effects of the pandemic”.
The recovery plan, which was launched in 2021 and remains in force this year, has saved operators at the Port of Barcelona almost 11 million euros, a sum that the Port Authority has stopped collecting. This support for commercial activity, which translates into benefits for society as a whole, makes the Port of Barcelona “a major player in the accelerated recovery of the economy and employment after the fallout from the pandemic”. , said the president.
Calvet added that “the Port of Barcelona closes 2021 with a cash flow of 83 million euros, which allows us to continue to develop our strategic agenda and create the conditions necessary for economic growth”. Operating cash flow increased by 25% compared to 2020, marking a return to normal levels and testifying to the financial strength and investment potential of the Port.
During the presentation of the results for the 2021 financial year, Miriam Alaminos, Deputy Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs, highlighted investments of €69 million. One of the most significant investments concerned the acquisition of land in the ZAL port belonging to TOTAL Petrochemicals, which will now be integrated into the port domain.
In terms of traffic, the year was satisfactory considering that the Port’s total traffic increased to 66.4 million tonnes. This figure is significant because it not only represents an increase of 11.8% over one year, but also because, as President Calvet explained, “we are only 1.5% below the total traffic in 2019 before the pandemic, when we broke our records. time record”. The feat was possible because, with the exception of liquid bulk, all major traffics ended the year in positive territory.
2021 was a record year for container traffic, which totaled 3.5 million TEUs and grew by 19.3%. The increase compared to 2019 – 6.2% – is also positive. José Alberto Carbonell, General Manager of the Port of Barcelona, pointed out that “compared to 2019, full container traffic has increased by 9%, with gains in both exports and imports (10% and 5%, respectively) and in goods in transit, which increased 14%”. This strong performance means that “once again, we are setting records in total import and export container traffic and transits,” Carbonell remarked.
“This has been possible because more and more shipping companies are relying on the Port of Barcelona, not only to move exports and imports, but also for their transhipments, which results in an even greater diversification of the clientele. . The productivity of the terminals of the Port of Barcelona and the high quality of the stowage, combined with the solid network of services, allow us to be one of the main alternatives for shipping companies”, concludes the general manager.
In 2021, conventional freight, which mainly includes Ro-Ro traffic, jumped to 397,000 ITUs, up 14.3% compared to 2020. As for new vehicle traffic, one of the most affected areas by the current uncertainty and the economic crisis linked to the pandemic, 499,000 units were moved for a growth of 3.9%.
In liquid bulk, movements in 2021 totaled 12.4 million tonnes, down 3.4%. By the end of the year, dry bulk movements had climbed to 4.5 million tonnes, 9.9% more than in 2020.
The Port of Barcelona’s longstanding commitment to intermodality and environmental sustainability has resulted in a significant increase in rail traffic. The year 2021 ended with 318,971 containers entering or leaving the port area by train, marking an annual growth of 18.4% and bringing the market share of this mode of transport to a record level of 15, 5%. Given these figures, the rail traffic of the Port of Barcelona represents an annual saving of 46,315 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to removing 197,928 trucks from circulation.
In 2021, passenger traffic was among the segments most affected by the pandemic in the Port of Barcelona. On March 13, 2020, passenger traffic was banned. For cruise ships, the ban was only lifted in June 2021. In this context, the passenger traffic of the Port of Barcelona in 2021 totaled almost 1.5 million people, or 74.7% more than in 2020. Nevertheless, it remains 67.6% below 2019 levels. Ferry recovery has been faster, 34.4% below pre-pandemic traffic. Cruiser traffic is 83.4% below 2019 levels. However, the figure of 521,000 cruise passengers at the end of the year is satisfactory and suggests that the recovery will continue this year.
During the 2021 financial year and in terms of containerized exports, the countries that have been the most dynamic in their exchanges with the Port of Barcelona have been: China, United States, United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. As far as imports are concerned, the main markets of origin for goods arriving at the port of Barcelona were: China, Turkey, India, the United States and South Korea, in that order.