Valenciaport, the first Spanish port to handle more than 500,000 containers in a single month

The traffic with India, Italy, Morocco, Saudi Arabia or Turkey in August compensates the falls in the USA and China to achieve the historical record of containers loaded and unloaded in a month

75% of the goods managed by Valenciaport this month have shown positive growth such as the 14% increase in containers of construction materials or 17% in food products, among others

The positive evolution of August with a 7.07% increase in the number of TEU’s managed shows the path of economic recovery and that the worst of the crisis is over, with a special incidence in May when the fall was 19.68%

València, September 15th, 2020.- The record traffic of August has placed Valenciaport as the first Spanish port to have surpassed the barrier of half a million containers loaded and unloaded in one month. This is thanks to the commercial rebound in trade with India (traffic in August increased by 66% over the same month last year), Italy (118% increase), Morocco (+66%), Saudi Arabia (37%) and Panama (173%), Canada (+16.25%) and Turkey (+8.6), to name but a few.

Last August Valenciaport’s trade balances with the rest of the world were mainly positive, thus breaking the downward trend caused by the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19. Of the first 160 countries with which Valenciaport operates, more than 100 have presented positive figures in the movement of TEUs this August compared to the same month in 2019, an encouraging figure that reflects the reactivation of commercial and industrial activity worldwide.

Thus, for example, the Valenciaport facilities managed a total of 17,210 containers with India in August 2019, compared to 27,859 in 2020, an absolute growth of 10,649 TEUs. With Italy, this growth was 8,299, with Morocco 5,914 and with Turkey 2,676. This figure is repeated with 100 other countries and compensates for the line maintained during this pandemic by other leading traffic countries such as the United States, which in August 2019 managed 56,079 TEUs for 53,488 in 2020, representing a decrease of 2,591, China with a decrease of 9,764 and Algeria with -3,707 containers.

Last year – always in August – Valenciaport took over the management of 470,218 containers, a very high figure. There were just over 24,000 to beat its historic record (494,262 in July 2019), and 30,000 to exceed the psychological “half a million”. A goal that was reached a year later, last August with 503,482 TEUs managed; a historic maximum for Valenciaport which enabled the Valencian port to become the first Spanish port to exceed 500,000 containers managed in a single month.

The figure is positive and shows a clear change in trend after the impact of the health and economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 that began in March, and which bottomed out with the May data with a 19.68% drop in containers. The turning point in the downward trend was August, with a positive record in the movement of TEUs (+7.07%) and their replacement by the growth curve was recorded in practically all products sold in August. According to data from the PAV, of 40 types of goods analysed, 75% have shown upward values this month.

Thus, for example, the increase in the number of containers managed that transported construction material was more than 14%, rising from 44,414 TEUs in August last year to 50,696 this year. Those recorded under the heading Other goods (footwear, clothing, home textiles and the vast majority of normal consumer goods) exceeded 87,000 units (an increase of 9.45%). Those of chemical products rose to 46,428 (+10.14) and those of cereals and flour increased by more than 116% from 3,415 a year ago to 7,388 last August. Also noteworthy is the 17.25% increase in other foodstuffs, which rose from 22,674 to 26,588 containers, 3,914 more than last year.

Cuadro 1. Contenedores por tipo de mercancía

Mercancía 2019 2020 diferencia Crecimiento
Resto de mercancías 79.469 87.008 7.539 9,49%
Materiales de construcción 44.414 50.696 6.282 14,14%
Productos químicos 42.153 46.428 4.275 10,14%
Cereales y su harina 3.415 7.388 3.973 116,34%
Otros productos alimenticios 22.674 26.588 3.914 17,26%
Pienso y forrajes 4.957 8.129 3.172 63,99%
Tabaco, cacao, café y especias 5.733 8.584 2.851 49,73%
Maquinaria, herramientas 40.334 42.830 2.496 6,19%
Papel y pasta 16.960 18.445 1.485 8,76%
Conservas 4.776 6.039 1.263 26,44%
Aceites y grasas 2.360 3.430 1.070 45,34%
Vinos, bebida, alcoholes 11.895 12.957 1.062 8,93%
Pescados congelados y refrigerado 2.266 3.308 1.042 45,98%
Frutas, hortalizas y legumbres 10.273 11.169 896 8,72%

 Positive signs of economic recovery

These positive data from August on traffic are also reflected in other statistics that show the consolidation of Valenciaport as a reference for the import/export of an area of influence that exceeds 50% of the GDP of the Spanish economy and 60% of Spain’s exports.  As a gateway for the entry and exit of goods, Valenciaport data is a thermometer of the economic activity of the Valencian Community and Spain.

Thus, in August the encouraging data also comes from the comparison of the traffic of ships that have operated in the Valencian ports: last August 86 more ships visited Valenciaport than a year ago, going from 666 in August 2019 to 752 last August. (Also calculated in gross registered tonnage, or GT – 24,677,530 – the increase was 7.38%)

There was also another historic milestone in the port of Valencia with the mobilisation of 8,701 containers loaded and unloaded from a single ship and in a single call that was reached between 27 and 30 August during the call made by the container ship MSC SIXIN.

In this line, the Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI) of August already contemplated this recovery in maritime activity with a positive performance of the global container traffic, especially in markets as important as the Asian one. The VCFI noted that shipping lines that were suspended at the height of the pandemic are being reopened and the shipping companies’ loading capacity continues to increase (26% on the Trans-Pacific route and 17.6% on the Asia-Europe routes). In addition, and for the first time in 2020, the idle fleet has fallen below 1 million TEUs.