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New container traffic record at the Port of Bilbao

7 February 2013

Weak demand for hydrocarbons causes fall in total traffic

For yet one more year container traffic at the Port of Bilbao reached a record high of 610,131 TEUs. A boost in container exports brougth about this significant increase (+13%). All in alll, this traffic category accounted for 22% of the Port’s total.

Exports through the Port of Bilbao grew by 4% as a result of greater exporting activity in Spain.

Total traffic in 2012 was 29.5 million tonnnes (-7.8%). This means a loss of some 2.5 million tonnes on the previous year meanly because of lower demand in some hydrocarbons.

Vista general del puerto

General view of the port

With regards to solid bulks, there was a 6.5% growth owing to the increase in coal and coke. In some measure, this can be attributed to the opening of the new petroleum coke facility. Cement & clinker, and soya beans also experienced growths.

The European Atlantic, as always, is Bilbao´s main market with almost 50% of total throughput. In addition, the North American Atlantic has registered the highest growth, thus consolidating second place. Notable increases were also recorded in both the South American Pacific and Atlantic faces. Outstanding countries are Russia, United Kingdom, Mexico, USA and the Netherlands.

There was intense maritime-rail activity at the Port of Bilbao throughout the year which produced a 9% increase in intermodal flows; container traffic by rail grew 16% as a consequence of port operators introducing new rail services to and from the Port.

Constant investment has been requiered since the commencement of the Port´s extension works in the Outer Abra twenty years ago. This effort, made possible by the Port Authority´s healthy finances, has produced an investment of 33 million Euros in 2012 which will reach 56 million in 2013.