In 2019, traffic in the Port of Bilbao – not counting local traffic1 or ship’s supplies/ provisioning2 – stood at 35.4 million tonnes. In overall terms, traffic levels have been maintained in relation to the previous year, with a slight decrease of 137,200 tonnes (-0.39%), despite the technical shutdowns at Petronor.
The increase of just under 2% in liquid bulk traffic is of particular relevance. This growth is mainly due to the increase in gas imports (+2 million tonnes), traffic of which increased twofold and reached record levels, and to the growth in diesel oil unloading (+680,000), which offset the fall in production at Petronor. The refinery did not begin full operations until November, causing crude oil traffic to fall by 15% and fuel oil traffic to drop by almost 5%, representing a reduction of 1.8 million tonnes. In total, Petronor reduced its activity by 2.6 million tonnes.
Solid bulks show a slight decrease (-1.6%), taking into account the downturn seen in Spanish ports as a whole (-11%).
The volume of goods for foreign trade transported in containers has been maintained, while figures for gross tonnes show a slight fall (-1.32%).
The volume of general non-containerised cargo goods fell by 8.5%, reflecting the decline in the activity of the steel sector in the Basque Country. In this segment, the consolidation of the Port of Bilbao’s motorways of the sea for the transport of lorries with goods to the United Kingdom and Belgium is of particular note.