95% of port movements of vehicles in Spain, export and import, are concentrated in six major ports.

Spanish exports grow

The growth of vehicle traffic flows in the ports was due to the past year increased sales by 3% in Spain and 10% of production, with consequent elevation of exports. These figures “drive increasing vehicle flows through the ports. It is proving an effective means of moving parts and vehicles, ” says the head of communications for the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of cars and trucks (ANFAC) , David Barnett. “The contraction in new car market as a result of the economic situation, is a fact,” says the president of the port of Santander Christian Manrique. However, sector support measures “designed by the central government and regional governments also, such as the Regional Government of Cantabria, cushioned the slump in sales,” says Manrique.

Ports with production factories

Ports in the area of influence of the production factories are the largest volume of generated movements. The concentration of 95% in just six Spanish ports is because “new vehicle traffic through the ports has been historically linked traffic to a nearby location of assembly plants of different car brands,” claims President of the port of Santander. There are cases of Barcelona with Seat and Nissan, Ford Valencia, Vigo with Citroen and although to a lesser extent, flights with Mercedes and Volkswagen.


Transport costs determined, in its day, the choice of port facilities closer to the factories. This was the cause for which “Santander provided an exception as it was the first Spanish port to consolidate its position in this sector of port traffic without a factory in the immediate hinterland,” Manrique justified. The nearest Renault factory in Palencia, 200 km away. “For that to occur, the railroad was crucial as a means of mass transportation from factory to port. To this is added the high quality and low cost, ” Manrique calls.

Objective, the foreign market vehicles

According to the chairman of the port of Santander, it is important to clarify that “the import of vehicles and therefore, the market continues to decline. Manufacturers in general and the automotive sector in particular, have focused their objectives in foreign markets “. The big car companies go to great lengths to make the cars manufactured in Spain more competitive in international markets. And place the ports as an important element in transport chains. “The main destinations of Spanish exports vehicles are France, UK, Germany, Austria and Italy,” says Barrientos. Regarding imports, the countries already mentioned you can sum, ” in recent times, the increase, notably in Belgium and Turkey and the Japanese ports of Nagoya and Yokohama, common origins, ” Manrique supports.

Good forecasts of business activity of the Spanish ports

The near-term vehicle movements in Spanish ports “we understand that the years 2011 and 2012 will be stabilization in traffic and, if anything, could be a spike upward.” Ultimately , “we believe that, despite depression of the domestic market, Spanish companies can consolidate their expectations for growth in international markets “, insists the president of the port of Santander.