The port of Barcelona reported an 18.4% increase in finished vehicle handling in 2022, moving more than 591,000 vehicles through the year. That growth was driven by imports and transhipment volumes, which increased +63% and +145.7% respectively.
The port authority said the result was notable given uncertainty in the automotive sector, including disruption to the supply chain caused by parts shortages and the drop in vehicle registrations in Spain through the year. Sales were down by nearly 5.4% in 2022, according to figures from the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (Anfac).
“This is not the result of the increase in demand, it is due to new brands choosing the port as their maritime and land distribution hub for their vehicles manufactured in various markets and which are distributed from here to the rest of Europe,” explained the port’s general manager, José Alberto Carbonell.
The port authority also pointed to the loss of volumes since the closure of Nissan’s plant in Barcelona at the end of 2021. Those factors contributed to drop in exports of almost 8%.
The port of Barcelona has also captured more electric vehicle (EV) volumes thanks to investments in infrastructure to support handling. EVs now account for 20% of imports through Barcelona, with the majority being shipped from China.
Tesla moved a sizeable volume of EVs from China through Barcelona in 2022.
The port closed financial year 2022 with turnover of €181m ($198m), a year-on-year increase of 20% and 5% above the year before the pandemic, when it stood at €172m.