Supersize ships weigh on Barcelona

Industry Database

The Port of Barcelona and its terminals are feeling the pressure of larger container ships.

Hutchison-run Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) said that it had initially planned a berthing line for five vessels, based on the size of the Emma Maersk. However, increasing ship sizes have meant that it now only has space for three vessels.

“Container ships have doubled in size since we planned the terminal in 2006,” said Ignasi Pinart, general manager, Hutchison Logistics Spain, BEST, speaking at Transport Events’ 6th Med Ports conference. “This size increase has implications.”

However, improved productivity has offset the losses on the berthing line, he added.

Lluis Paris, commercial manager at the Port of Barcelona, said that it is now much harder to offer cost reductions to shipping lines because of the rising shore-side costs. “In the end, we are getting less calls and they are more stressful that they used to be,” he said.

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