Leading Spanish hinterland port Valencia put in a strong performance in the container sector last year as throughput increased 4.95% to reach a record 5.44 million teu.
On a tonnage basis, container throughput increased 5.46% to 61.04 million tonnes, representing more than three quarters of all traffic through the port by volume.
Containers for transhipment showed a 3.95% increase to 2.94 million TEU but direct import-export container throughput rose 6.22%.
The port indicated that box traffic growth had been strong throughout the year except in the final quarter when it had been affected by declining economic conditions.
It said that the results nevertheless demonstrated the key role played by the port in the service of the economy of the Valencia region and that of Spain as a whole.
The port's cargo throughput overall rose 5.81% to a record 81.08 million tonnes, showing a growth rate 30 times the 0.19% average traffic growth rate of Spanish ports as a whole last year, it said.
The 2019 figures confirm the port's position as a leading Spanish port for direct import-export traffic.
The port's total traffic throughput last year was lower than Algeciras's 109.37 million tonne total but nearly two thirds of the latter's total was in transhipment traffic.
Valencia saw its own transhipment total increase nearly 4% to 36.71 million tonnes but this represented less than half of its total cargo throughput.
Third-ranking Barcelona saw its traffic throughput flatline last year at 67.67 million tonnes, while its container throughput fell 3.2% to 3.32 million TEU as it lost transhipment traffic to other Mediterranean ports.
In the last quarter (Oct – Dec) of 2019, cargo traffic at Spanish ports fell 5.1% to 136.4 million tons compared to 143.7 million tons in the same period in 2018. The reduction is was driven by both the decline in containerized shipments, which amounted to 47.2 million tons, down 1.8% or 4.2 million TEU, down 3.1% year on year.
In 2019, total port traffic reached 564.6 million tons, with a slight increase of 0.2% on the previous year. Container throughput rose 3.6% from a year earlier to 195.3 million tons, up 3.6% or 17.42 million TEU, up 2.2% from the previous year.