Ports in Spain and Portugal - progress with a few growing pains

Jan 23, 2019   Features

In our ongoing series on ports and processors, we look at two facilities in Europe, Port of Barcelona in Spain and Port of Leixões in Portugal which will be vying for import and export business with the newly expanding North African market as well more established markets in Europe and the US

Growing pains - changing fortunes in Spain

In July 2018, Anfac, the Spanish automotive manufacturers’ association released its annual Maritime Port Logistics Grading study, which identified Santander, Sagunto and Pasajes ports as currently the best for vehicle processing in Spain.

While eight ports in the region handled some 2.9 million vehicles between them: Barcelona, Málaga, Pasajes, Sagunto, Santander, Tarragona, Valencia and Vigo, amounting to 90% of all Spanish maritime automotive traffic, Santander, Sagunto and Pasajes were graded highest, being awarded a score of 4.2 out of a possible 5. As in Portugal, where a stevedores’ strike effectively ended Setubal’s domination of Volkwagen business, the overall grading for port logistics declined because of the strong impact that last year’s strike by stevedores in Spain had on the automotive sector. The strike action over labour reforms and deregulation affected ports across Spain; vehicle stevedores were exempted from the legislative changes but many came out on strike in sympathy with their union colleagues in other sectors.

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