In 2022, 79.36 million tonnes of goods (-6.92%) and 5,052,272 containers (-9.85%) were handled

Valenciaport as a thermometer of economic activity reflects the trend set by consultancy firms such as SeaIntelligence, which indicate a 10% drop in world maritime traffic

There is a fall of 416,137 full TEUs in transit (standard 20-foot container), representing -16.81%

The trend also affects those dedicated to exports, which fell by 7.59%, while imports increased by 1.55%. A symptom of the decline in sales abroad by Spanish companies and the slowdown in industrial production

The movement of automobiles grew notably, rising by 22.25% and exceeding 600,000 units

Also noteworthy is the increase in passenger traffic, both regular lines (+48.67%) and cruise passengers (+376%)

Practically all sectors are down except for energy, with a 63.5% increase, highlighting natural gas, which doubled the tonnes handled compared to 2021, other goods, which increased by 2.39%, and vehicles and elements of transport (+1.36%)

By country, the United States is the preferred partner in terms of total goods handled, with an increase of 9.43%, and China is the country with the most TEUs, despite a fall of 13.32%

Valenciaport, as a thermometer of economic activity and world trade, reflects in its 2022 data the international crisis that is affecting the business situation and the global exchange of goods, which is facing a complex situation marked by the war in Ukraine, increased neo-protectionism, high inflation and the rise in fuel and raw material prices. Despite the fall in total traffic (-6.92%) and container traffic (-9.85%) during the previous year, Valenciaport maintains its share of 40% of import/export traffic in the Spanish port system, as in previous years. This is the traffic where Valenciaport provides its direct service to the companies in its hinterland. The year closed with an increase in the number of cars handled, which rose by 22.25%, and passengers, both on regular lines (+48.67%) and cruise passengers (+376%).

Thus, according to data from the Statistical Bulletin of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), a total of 79,365,321 tonnes of goods were handled in 2022, representing a decrease of 6.92%, while TEUs amounted to 5,052,272 with a fall of 9.85% – in line with the indications of the SeaIntelligence consultancy of a drop in world traffic of around 10%. A decrease in containers that occurs mainly in transit containers with a drop of 416,137 units, 16.81% in relative terms with respect to the 2021 financial year. They went from 2,475,802 in 2021 to 2,059,665 last year, traffic that has been diverted to other Mediterranean ports. Regarding full cargo containers (export), which reached almost one million, there was a decrease of 82,032 containers, -7.59% less than in 2021. And full unloading containers (import) have grown by 1.55% to 850,589 units. Empty containers fell by 5.54% in 2022.

The drop in export traffic is a symptom of the economic health of the hinterland of the Port of Valencia, and reflects the fact that we are in a crisis where the main markets to which Spain exports are having a hard time. While the low growth in imports is linked to the production of companies and domestic consumption. In 2022 these containers have increased by 1.55% compared to a few months ago where there were increases of over 20%, which represents a clear slowdown in the acquisition of goods and raw materials that affects the production of the business fabric of the area of influence of Valenciaport.

However, the key for the Port of Valencia is that the weight of import/export (where Valenciaport provides direct service to companies) for the whole of Spain has remained at 40%, as in previous years.

This trend is also reproduced in the last month of the year, with a decrease of 18.86% in goods, which reached 5,597,064 tonnes. Containers fell by 20.33%, with 351,427 containers handled in the last month of the year. The falls were in full loads (-12.52%), unloading (-16.84%) and transit (-27.68%). Empties also suffered a drop of 13.43%.

About the type of goods, the current situation is a clear reflection of Valenciaport’s traffic and the change in the arrival/departure of products. Thus, liquid bulk has mobilised 5,818,821 tonnes (+50.44%), highlighting the natural gas that has been managed through the Port of Sagunto, which has doubled in 2022 compared to 2021 to reach 4,118,575 tonnes. In fact, the number of ships dedicated to the transport of products such as energy products was 322, 10.65% more than the previous year. The United States accounts for half of all natural gas imports. Solid bulk cargoes exceeded 2,255,164 tonnes, up 4.45%, with an increase of 12.14% in cereals and their flours. Non-containerised cargo maintained the 2021 quota with 14,763,010 tonnes, while the decrease occurred in containerised cargo with 56,125,555 tonnes, 12.33% less.

In general, traffic has decreased in all sectors. Iron and steel fell by 9.85%, construction materials by 12.61% and chemical products by 9.99%. The agri-food sector maintains in 2022 the figures of 2021, with a decrease of 0.47%. The sectors that increased are energy (+63.5%), other goods (+2.39%) with wood and cork (+12.95%) and vehicles and transport elements (+1.36%) standing out.

Large increase in cars and passengers

According to PAV data, a total of 7,521 vessels berthed at the Valenciaport docks in 2022, representing a growth of 3.1% over the previous month. In addition to tankers, which grew by 10.65%, it is worth noting the 16.67% increase in bulk carriers.

About automobile traffic, during 2022 it should be noted that 603,566 units were handled at the València and Sagunto docks, a 22.25% increase. In absolute figures, 109,869 more vehicles were handled than in 2021. This vehicle traffic is mainly with Italy, Belgium and Turkey, which account for 50% of operations. In terms of ro-ro traffic (a system whereby a vessel transports cargo on wheels), total traffic amounted to 12,946,088 tonnes, 0.64% more than in 2021.

On the other hand, passenger traffic stood at 1,373,552 people (including regular lines and cruise passengers), with a total growth of 116%. Specifically, 750,499 regular line passengers (+48.67%) and 623,053 cruise passengers (+376%) were registered.

The United States, Italy and China, the main partners

In terms of total traffic by country, according to the PAV’s Statistical Bulletin, the United States generated the with a decrease of 12% and a total of 6,073,718 tonnes. The Asian giant occupies the first position in container traffic with 530,902 (-13.32%), followed by the United States with 487,828 (-8.18%) and Turkey with 250,731 (-21.29%).

The United Kingdom is the most dynamic country in 2022 with an increase of 34.16% in total goods and 25.14% in containers. Other countries that have grown in 2022 include Nigeria (+39.64%), Belgium (+34.11%) and the Netherlands (13%).