In 2011, total traffic in the Port of, amounted to 31.7 million tonnes, 5.7% less than the previous year due to decreases in liquid and solid bulks.
Liquid bulks in fact fell by 10% because of decreased production at the Petronor Refinery. Solid bulks also fell by 10% due to the fall in scrap imports brought about due to the temporary closure of ArcelorMittal.
However, there is a more positive side if we look at general cargo. This increased by 420,000 tonnes, representing a 4.45% increase, thanks to strong growth in container goods which reached a record figure in the Port of Bilbao at 572,784 TEUs. This type of traffic requires greater volume of port labour, and at the same time it stimulates cargo transport: neither of these sectors suffered labour cuts in the Port of Bilbao during the year.
Maritime services reinforced
Maritime traffic from the Port of Bilbao with the European Atlantic countries, maintained its prominence and captured 45% of the traffic thanks to 10% and 9% growths in container and general traffic respectively. The main destinations in total traffic are Russia and the United Kingdom, followed by Belgium.
The upturn in general cargo has enabled the maritime services between Bilbao and other European ports to be reinforced
The American North Atlantic has become the second great market for the Port of Bilbao after experiencing the greatest growth (+ 11%) thanks to the pull of traffic with the United States, which increased by 370,000 tonnes (+ 18%). Likewise, mention must be made of the growth with the Asian Pacific (+ 6%) as a result of the 7% increase in traffic with China and of the 124% with Taiwan.
Finance and Investment
In spite of the decrease in taxes as established by Spanish Law 33/2010 and tonnage loss in
total traffic, the Port of Bilbao’s turnover reached 64.7 million euros, which was slightly above the 2010 figure. This increase was based on the increase in the number of surfaces leased in concessions, and the 7% increase in general container traffic, whose capacity to generate income is greater than that of liquid and solid bulks commodities.
With regard to investment, the Port Authority invested 50 million euros in 2011, while the amount for 2012 will be 49.7 million.