Friday, December 18, 2020

Mediterranean Port Sees General Freight and Container Traffic Grow Despite Covid-19

However Passenger Ferry and Cruise Business Stagnates
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – Despite the ravages of the virus, freight movements blossomed in Mediterranean Valenciaport in November with 485,382 TEUs moved by the port cranes, a figure exceeding the same period in the previous year by 20.5%, a month unaffected by Covid-19.

From this total 382,434 were full containers (+23.76%), while empty containers increased by 9.75%. Meanwhile import container traffic grew by 20.51% and export by 20.6%, while transit traffic grew by 26.19%. In the year, Valenciaport’s activity continues to approach the figures for 2019 after overcoming the most complicated months of the pandemic.

Thus, between January and November of this year, 73.35 million tonnes of goods and 4,922,865 containers were handled, 2% less than in 2019 in both cases, while in October this percentage was -3.58% and -4% respectively. However, it is pertinent to point out that in the case of TEUs, the annual decrease is caused by empty boxes, which fall by 10.91%; while full ones grow by 0.84%.

In terms of general traffic, depending on its weight, 7,341,375 tonnes were handled in November, 14.02% more than in 2019. Once again, as in recent months, this increase in commercial activity has been achieved with fewer, larger, and more eco-efficient ships (549 ships compared to 647 in November 2019).

This data confirms the tendency of shipping companies to concentrate the cargoes they transport on increasingly larger ships and to choose mixed hub ports (which generate economies of scale by bringing together large volumes of import/export and transhipments), and are strategically located such as Valenciaport.

The port authorities have been quick to praise the performance and capacity of the companies and professionals of the port community of the Port of Valencia to attend to operations of almost 10,000 containers in a single call, as has recently happened with the MSC Gülsün with its complement of 9,718 TEUs loaded and unloaded in a single visit to Valencia.

In terms of what goods were handled, and their definition by destination, 46% of the operations carried out in Valenciaport between January and November correspond to exports, 42.4% to imports and 11.6% to domestic traffic. By sector, the greatest weight corresponds to Vehicles and transport elements with 9,358,632 tonnes. It is followed by the Agrifood sector with 7,352,851; Other goods with 6,244,149 and Construction materials with 6,074,169.

By country, China regains the first position of full containers by processing 486,629 via Valenciport, (3.27% less than between January and November 2019). In second place is the US with 483,118, a similar figure to the previous year, while in third position is Turkey with a fall of -10.39%. The United Kingdom (+44.41%), Canada (+42.60), Saudi Arabia (+30.92%), Italy (+30.65%) and India (+23.54) are the most dynamic countries in 2020.

In terms of RoRo traffic accumulated throughout the year, Valenciaport has managed 10,279,369 tonnes, 12.34% less than in 2019. A total of 467,984 vehicles were also mobilised, down 30.3% on the previous year. These figures almost certainly a direct result of the virus effect as with passenger traffic with the cruise sector remaining stagnant, while regular ferry line passengers have fallen by 36.51%.

Photo: Terminal Puerto València by Manuel Menéndez.