Barcelona's BEST


Terminal Catalunya (Tercat) has officially opened its new box-handling facility in the Spanish port of Barcelona.

Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) has a 1km berth line, with a draught alongside of 16.5 metres, and

the capacity to handle about 1.6 million teu a year. It also allows the operator to handle several super-post-panamax ships simultaneously.

In designing the terminal, Tercat has made considerable efforts to improve landside distribution while as part of the concession agreement Tercat has had to commit to moving more traffic by rail. Consequently, BEST features an eight-track on-dock rail yard.

This will also raise the terminal’s competitiveness in attracting cargo for northern Spain and areas outside, most notably the Rhone-Saone corridor in France.

It was a point stressed by Alejandro Kouruklis, General Manager of Tercat at the official opening ceremony, which was attended by King Juan Carlos. 

He said: ’This new terminal will allow us to serve the local market, extend our hinterland connectivity to the rest of Spain and Europe and increase the transhipment cargo we are handling in Barcelona.’

BEST, which has been servicing ships since July 2012, is one of only a few semi-automated terminals in the world and combined with Hutchison Port Holdings’ (HPH) nGen operating system, it is expected to offer very high levels of efficiency and productivity. HPH owns Tercat.

When phase one of the development is completed, BEST will have a total quay line of 1.5km, a yard of 100ha and a throughput capacity 3.5 million TEU. Tercat has a 35-year build operate and transfer concession for BEST.

Tercat’s previous terminal has been returned to Barcelona Port Authority and it will now be used to handle general cargo and automobile traffic. It had a berthing line of close to 1.5km but limited depths alongside (8.7-14 metres) and had been losing traffic in recent years, handling about 800,000teu in 2011, down from over a million teu prior to Spain’s financial/economic crises.