February 03, 2022

Valenciaport improves pre-pandemic activity: More than 5.6 million TEUs in 2021 and 85 million tonnes mobilised

Valenciaport has closed the 2021 financial year with over 5.6 million TEUs (standard 20-foot container) and 85 million tonnes, numbers that improve activity with respect to 2020 and 2019, the latter being a pre-pandemic year. The import/export pull of Spanish companies operating through Valenciaport’s docks has been key to these records and reaffirms the Port of Valencia as a strategic ally of the economy. Moreover, these figures, which confirm the forecasts of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), place the Valencian port as the fourth port in Europe in terms of containers, surpassing the Greek port of Piraeus, and behind Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.

On the verge of maximum capacity

According to the APV Statistical Bulletin, a total of 5,604,478 TEUs were moved through Valenciaport last year, an increase of 3.25% over 2020 and 3% over 2019. The president of the PAV, Aurelio Martínez, analysed the figures for the end of the year 2021 which has been characterised by “having two parts, in the first we grew at a very strong rate while in the second this increase slowed down a little. These figures show that the Port of Valencia has the beginning of saturation. We are close to our maximum capacity of 7.5 million TEUs and, when there is a lot of operational cargo, these limitations are already noticeable. That is why the new northern container terminal is essential if we want to continue to be a port of reference in world traffic”.

In 2021, the dynamism of the business fabric operating through Valenciaport must be highlighted, both in sales abroad and in the acquisition of products. Thus, full containers of cargo reached the figure of 1,081,103, 13.89% more than in 2020, while those of unloading were 837,584 with an increase of 17.38%. “These figures are very positive and reflect the activity of Valencian and Spanish companies over the last year. We have handled between import/export almost two million TEUs and this is where the service provided by the port to the companies in our hinterland, which represents 41% of the full export and import containers moved by the Spanish port system, is evident”, explains Aurelio Martínez.

On the other hand, the figures for 2021 reflect a decrease of 3.45% of full transhipment containers (those which for strategic reasons are transported to main ports such as Valencia and from here are transferred to the ports of destination). For their part, empty containers have grown by 0.74% in 2021.

5% more freight traffic

In total, Valenciaport handled 85,269,726 tonnes of goods in 2021, representing 5.42% and 5.18% more than in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Compared to 2020, liquid bulk (44.69%), solid bulk (16.11%), non-containerised cargo (16.15%) and cargo arriving by container (1.2%) have increased.

In this period, ro-ro traffic (system by which a vessel transports cargo on wheels) has exceeded 12.86 million tonnes, 14.61% more than in 2020. The transport of automobiles as freight in 2021 amounted to 493,697 units, representing a decrease of 7.4%.

In terms of passenger traffic, 635,689 people travelled during these 12 months, 51.67% more than in 2020. Of these, 130,869 have been cruise passengers who have arrived in Valencia since this activity began at the end of June.

China, the main trading partner

In full container traffic, China continues to be Valenciaport’s main trading partner with 612,497 TEUs handled in 2021 and an increase of 14.37%. In terms of dynamism, the growth of Morocco (26.96%), Italy (26.78%) and Israel (22.74%) stands out. It should also be noted that the United States is the most important country in the movement of export containers, with a total figure of 145,953.

In terms of sectors, all of them have grown in 2021. The most important sector is vehicles and transport elements with 11.5 million tonnes, followed by the agri-food industry with 8.96 million, construction materials with 8.19 million and other goods with 7.91 million tonnes. The most dynamic in foreign sales were energy products with an increase of 73%, construction materials with a rise of 24.61%, iron and steel with a growth of 18.41%, and agri-foodstuffs and livestock with an increase in exports of 17.53%.