Stevedore plans major expansion at Barcelona


Against a backdrop of increasing economic gloom in Spain, Barcelona stevedore Terminal de Contenedores de Barcelona (TCB) has announced plans to invest €60 million in the expansion of its storage facilities for containers at the port.

It follows the investment of over €40 million by Barcelona Port Authority in the enlargement of the South wharf where TCB’s terminal is located. 
During the course of next year, TCB will have extended its box storage capacity by 40% to 81ha, spread over 1,515 metres of quayside.
TCB is also planning to adapt its rail transport facilities at the port in order to offer direct train links to France and northern Europe.
In July this year, Barcelona’s biggest box handler, Terminal Catalunya, (Tercat), part of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) group, opened its Muelle Prat terminal, which is equipped with eight super-post-panamax quay cranes. The new terminal, will be officially inaugurated next week.
Export traffic for containers increased by 5% in the first half of the year on the same period in 2011, according to port authority figures.
The highest monthly growth rate (+14%) was recorded in June, driven largely by demand from emerging markets such as China, Algeria and Argentina. In contrast, import traffic for containers was down 14%. 
Meanwhile, the port of Barcelona is a key element in a strategic plan for the city. drawn up by Mayor Xaxier Trias. 
Logistics activities will be concentrated in a triangular area of over 600ha between the port, airport and the free zone. 
The Strategic Plan’s co-ordinator, Francesc Santacana i Martorell, said Barcelona could play "a vital role in logistics" and has an opportunity to grow in this field through the development of rail transport links to the whole of Europe. 
The plan aims to position the Mediterranean port of Barcelona as a direct competitor of ports in northern Europe, he added.