The Port of Barcelona reduces its profits by 63% due to the pandemic and sees its income fall to 2006 levels

Passenger traffic fell by 81.5% last year, while exports managed to save themselves from the effects of the crisis thanks, especially, to the food sector

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“We have not sought the best results in history, but resilience.” This is how the president of the Barcelona’s port, MercÚ Conesa, the economic balance of Catalan infrastructure for 2020. Despite the fact that the Port Authority it closed the year with a profit of 17 million euros, the figure is 63% less than the 44 million of the previous year. The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had a strong impact on the organism’s activity, whose income fell by 20% to 139 million, which means falling back to billing levels of 2006.

In presenting the results, Conesa explained that, despite the fact that 2020 was “very complicated”, since the last two months of last year the indexes of traffic They are on the rise, a rate that has been maintained during the first weeks of 2021. Therefore, he expects this to be “a year of leverage for economic reactivation.”

The president has argued that the impact that the pandemic at the Port, estimated at 34 million euros, has been due both to the reduction in income due to the fall in the traffic of goods and passengers and to the measures that were implemented to mitigate the effects of the crisis on the Business concessionaires, among which is the deferral of the payment of fees.

Restrictions on mobility due to health crisis they had a very noticeable impact on traffic data. Passenger numbers fell by 81.5%, to 858,000 people, mainly due to the suspension of the cruise ships. The year closed with 199,000 cruise passengers [la mayoría llegados durante el primer trimestre], 93.7% less than in 2019. For their part, ferris they had a smaller drop: the number of passengers fell by 55.8% and stood at 659,000. After almost a year of paralysis, Conesa has asked for “clear protocols to reactivate cruise activity” and trusts that this will take place next summer.


The total traffic of the Port of Barcelona fell by 11.9%, from 67.9 million tons in 2019 to 59.5 in 2020. However, the exports managed to resist with a year-on-year decrease of 0.5%, especially thanks to the increase in the food sector, while imports fell 10.9%. The general director of the Port Authority, Josà © Alberto Carbonell, explained that the increase in exports of pork to China and other Asian countries has been one of the keys to sustaining the volume of traffic.

The market for Asia Y Oceanía It is the largest receiver of goods from the Port of Barcelona, ​​with 48.5% of the total, while America means 21%; Africa, 18.5%, and Europe, The 12%. One of the sectors that registered a significant drop in traffic was that of vehículos new, with a 38.2% decrease explained by the pandemic and by the progressive change in mobility models, something that already caused a pronounced decrease last year, especially due to the reduction in the activity of Nissan.

The entity’s data allows us to differentiate between three very marked periods in 2020: a first quarter without Covid effects, a very negative behavior between April and October and a turning point in the final stretch of the year with signs of recovery. Despite the fact that they had planned to recover the 2019 figures within three years, the Port Authority managers trust that the dynamics of 2021 will allow them to achieve that goal in a shorter period of time.

In 2020, ebitda stood at 70 million euros [un 30% menos que el año anterior], the cash flow, in 66 million [con una caída del 32%], and the bank debt long-term, at 161 million [un 10% menos], data that allow to speak of “financial robustness”, according to the deputy director general of the economic area, Miriam Alaminos.

Grimaldi will expand its terminal in Barcelona

The Port of Barcelona approved on Wednesday to extend the concession granted to Grimaldi Terminal Barcelona with two new spaces, located on the Contradique dock, in which the Italian company will invest more than four million euros to improve its operations .

The shipping group’s terminal, located on the Costa dock and with an area of ​​64,221 square meters, will incorporate a contiguous 27,522-square-meter plot of land, extending the concession for six more years to the 15 it already had. The commitment includes Grimaldi making a continuous investment in its machinery, which will consist of the renewal of 10 of the tractor units every five years.

On the other hand, the Barcelona Port Authority has granted Baleà ria an eight-year concession to install a temporary maritime station for passengers that will have 453 square meters and a 2,687 square meter car park. This space will be used for passengers who board with a private vehicle at the Adosado dock to improve the services that the company offers between the Catalan capital and the Balearic Islands. The concession is expected to be temporary until Baleà ria can have a new maritime station in the south of the pier to operate all of its vessels that call in Barcelona.

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