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Cargo traffic in Barcelona port up 20% by end of May

The number of shipping containers passing through the port has increased by nearly 28%

This Thursday Barcelona’s Port Authority announced that in the first five months of 2017, freight traffic in the port increased by 20.2% compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of 23.7 million tons.

The growth of goods has been especially driven by the shipping of containers, bulk liquids —mainly hydrocarbons— and freight transported along what are known as Motorways of the Sea (routes which carry lorries and trailers, thereby taking them off the road network).

Up until May this year, the port of Barcelona saw traffic of 1.1 million TEUs (a Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit is a standard shipping container), with an increase of 27.6% over the first five months of 2016. The movement of containers for export increased by 8.8% (289,590 TEU), while imports grew by 6.5% (228,370 TEU). However, the transshipment of containers (the practice of offloading a container from one ship in order to load it onto another, to be sent to its final destination) saw the greatest increase, with a 87.7% rise.

As for bulk liquids, the Port of Barcelona handled 5.6 million tons (an 18.9% increase). Hydrocarbons rose by 24%, mainly natural gas (up 29%), diesel (a 12.3% increase) and fuel oil (a 73.4% hike).

In terms of the shipping of platforms, lorries and trailers, there was a 7.5% increase in intermodal freight, with a total of 162,265 units. Such traffic has increased with the Balearic Islands in particular (a 7% increase), while the volume of ‘short sea shipping’-the movement of lorries and trailers- with Italy and North Africa grew by 8.2% to 60,880 units of intermodal transport.

With regard to the shipping of vehicles, the port handled 363,361 units, of which 302,000 were destined for export. Vehicle traffic dropped by 5.3% up until May, though automobile imports increased by 5%.

Over 1 million passengers

Between January and the end of May, 1.1 million passengers passed through the Port of Barcelona, an increase of 6.4%. Of these, 388,778 were ferry passengers (a 16% hike) on routes to the Balearics, the Italian ports of Civitavecchia, Genoa, Savona, Livorno and Porto Torres, and also to North Africa, with the ports of Tangier, Nador, Tunis and Mostaganem. The remaining 765,195 people were passengers on cruise ships, which saw  a 2% increase.

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