Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Port of Barcelona looks ahead to 2020

Written on Friday, April 24th 2015 à 09:15 | Read 748 times



The Port of Barcelona aims to improve road and rail access in a bid to increase goods traffic by 50% thanks to scheduled investments in cooperation with the local government (Generalitat of Catalonia) and the state (Ministry of Equipment).

Port of Barcelona (photo Francis Matéo)
Port of Barcelona (photo Francis Matéo)
SPAIN. “Ambitious” is the only word to describe the Port of Barcelona’s strategic plan for 2015-2020, which targets 50% growth in the traffic of goods in transit. This means increasing volumes to 70 million tonnes (Mt) in five years compared with 46.3 million Mt recorded in 2014. A key way this can be achieved is by expanding Short Sea Shipping (SSS) services.

By focusing on ro-ro services (with the development of the Costa Quay), the port was able to increase the number of lorries loaded on board ferries by 10% in 2014. This has encouraged specialist operators including Grimaldi Lines to strengthen connections with Italy and North Africa. The frequency between Barcelona and Savona has also doubled. As a result, traffic on the “Motorways of the Sea” shot up by another 14% in the first two months of 2015.

Better integrating Barcelona in the Mediterranean corridor

President of the Barcelona Port Authority (BPA) Sixte Cambra (photo Port of Barcelona)
President of the Barcelona Port Authority (BPA) Sixte Cambra (photo Port of Barcelona)
To achieve the course set out within the framework of this five-year strategy, the President of the Barcelona Port Authority (BPA) Sixte Cambra also plans to widen the hinterland according to the growth in traffic – from 600 to 1,200 kilometres. “We want to extend our area of influence in the south as well as in the north, from Africa to the edges of central Europe,” he says. This means covering an area greater than Paris… It’s an audacious challenge, but remains feasible for the Mediterranean port as long as it can improve land supply infrastructures. This is where scheduled investments in cooperation with the local government (Generalitat of Catalonia) and the state (Ministry of Equipment) come into play.
New road and rail connections are scheduled to open in 2018, including a railway line serving the Prat Quay reserved for containers. Meanwhile, the development of road access between the port and the Cornella del Prat highway intersection has been underway since December 2014. These new access routes will not only help better integrate the Port of Barcelona in the Mediterranean corridor, but will also ease traffic flow by ensuring 90% of customs procedures take less than 17 hours. This is particularly important for meeting the needs of ro-ro operators.

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