As Port Authority Chairman, Gerardo Landaluce, reminded everyone this morning, the Port of Algeciras signed off 2022 by going over the 100-million tonne barrier for a seventh consecutive year: last year returned 107-million tonnes of total throughput (up 2%).
Container throughput almost touched 4.8-million TEUs (down 0.7%), offset by the 7% growth witnessed by import-export containers. Straits traffic showed a 10% growth in cargo exchanges with Morocco, which - on the ground - meant that 432,205 HGVs were handled on the Algeciras-Tanger Med line. At the Port of Tarifa, the year ended having recorded 790,818 passengers travelling on the only shipping line that connects Europe with Tangiers Ville after two years of inactivity due to the border closure during the pandemic.
Rail cargo transport figures stand out from any other traffic type for last year: rail traffic grew by 60% in 2022 - and has grown by 584% since 2018-. APBA's Chairman presented some of the landmarks reached in rail traffic, such as the new mobile box service on the Straits traffic routes, which is the embryo of a rail motorway between Algeciras and Zaragoza.
Landaluce also mentioned the Emissions Trading System (ETS) topic and highlighted the fact that the work carried out by APBA over the last few months - during the proposal's teething stage - has led to the definition of a "port of call" to be changed: "...a great achievement that will avoid carbon leakage and stop third-party ports increasing their competitive edge arbitrarily." However, Landaluce also pointed out that the directive still contains a few wrinkles "... and we will have to keep working to iron them out and ensure that ETS provides as level a playing field as possible".
In the same light, Landaluce also went through a list of initiatives that have been embraced and implemented by Innovation & Digitalization centrepiece on the one hand, and by APBA's Green Strategy on the other: Algeciras is the first Spanish port to be certified by AENOR for its sustainability policy. Port of Algeciras’ Green Strategy has taken its carbon footprint down by 70% regards its level in 2018. On the project front, Landaluce highlighted the green light given to the On-Shore Power Supply (OPS) Project that will supply electricity to berths at passenger terminal in Algeciras, an initiative that is financed by Next Generation EU funding under the EU's RRF (Recovery & Resilience Facility) Plan.