Vigo Port Authority in northwest Spain has approved a reduction in storage fees for finished vehicles. Henceforth, irrespective of whether they are kept in the port's vertical storage facility or at the Bouzas Ferry Terminal, fees charged will be the same. Previously, there were three distinct tariffs in force: one covering the use of the vertical storage facility, another applied for using the terminal for no more than three days and one for any vehicle held in the port for longer than three day. By Barry Cross

Now, as long as vehicles do not stay more than three days, fees charged will drop by 67%. Those exceeding three days of storage will see fees cut by around 50%, while any vehicle kept in the storage compound for between three and seven days will be eligible for a rate cut of 8%.

According to the president of the port authority, Ignacio López-Chaves, this reduction in storage fees is intended to enhance the competitiveness of the sector and matches similar initiatives brought in by other administrations, most notably the Galician regional government, which has made available subsidies of €120 million to the sector. In addition, in recent months, the Vigo Free Zone Consortium has also invested heavily in and around local production facilities.

Traffic at the port is currently on the increase. On March 25, the Bouzas terminal handled a record 5,000 vehicles in one day, involving four vessels and the participation of Suardíaz shipping line and agents Bergé Maritima.

The ships were conveying a wide range of models, some of which were being imported for domestic consumption, while others were being rotated out again by sea for destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

To handle the enhanced traffic, Vigo port authority has put forward a project to extend the existing ro-ro ramp using a mobile one, which will enable ships to be handled in more extreme weather conditions. Funds are being sought as part of the EU’s TEN-T programme, with sponsors being the port authorities of Vigo, Saint Nazaire, (with whom Vigo is developing a sea motorway service), the Suardíaz shipping line and Spain’s National Ports Authority, Puertos del Estado.