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Portuguese ports are a fundamental pillar for the development of the national economy and the “sea”. Portugal’s geo-strategic location has contributed significantly to the growth of maritime traffic in recent decades, as it is one of the gateways to international trade in Europe.

And in 2023? Do you want to know how port activity in Portugal developed during the first half of the year? Read this post!

  1. Iberian Ports With Less Cargo

Between January and May, Iberian port activity fell. Nevertheless, Portuguese ports lost only 0.5% of their cargo, while Spanish ports lost 3.5%.

Em termos homólogos, no que diz respeito à movimentação de Carga Geral, Portugal enfrentou uma perda inferior à de Espanha (perdas de 0,9% e 5,8%, respetivamente). Quanto aos graneis sólidos, Portugal superou o país vizinho com um ganho de 7,5% contra 1%, respetivamente. Apenas nos graneis líquidos é que Espanha obteve perdas inferiores, ao cederem 2,1% contra os 3,6% de Portugal.

In terms of container handling, Portugal recorded a year-on-year decline of 6.1% in the first five months of the year, compared with a fall of 8.3% in Spain.

Nevertheless, in terms of hinterland traffic, national ports performed worse than Spain (although both were in the red), with gains in transhipment (against losses in Spain).

However it should be noted that there is a huge difference in the size of the two port markets. In the first five months of the year, Spanish ports handled 222.5 million tonnes, while Portuguese ports handled 35.4 million tonnes.

In other words, in terms of trade, Spain is 6.3 times larger than Portugal, exceeding the difference between the two countries in terms of population (Spain 4.9 times larger) and GDP (Spain 5.9 times higher).

  1. Ports lost 53,000 TEU in the first half of the year

Between January and June, mainland ports handled around 1.4 million TEU, a decrease around 3.5% compared to the same period last year. The result now achieved is lower than in 2021 and 2022. It is practically the same as in 2019.

In the first half of the year, transshipments increased by 8.6% to 682,000 TEU, while hinterland traffic decreased by 12.2% to 766,000 TEU.

  1. Port of Aveiro posts record first half results

In the first six months of the year alone, it handled 2.98 million tonnes, beating the previous record of 2.9 million tonnes set in the first half of 2022.

Liquid bulk, driven by fuel, was the main contributor to this performance with growth of 5.1%. There were also increases of 63.3% in the handling of agro-food solids and 21.3% in the handling of forest products. In contrast, non-metallic minerals, cement and metallurgical products suffered losses around 20-30%.

  1. Port of Leixões lost 100 thousand tons by June

Movimentou 7,4 milhões de toneladas no primeiro semestre, menos 1% que na primeira metade de 2022. Em queda esteve a carga ro-ro, na ordem dos 10%, e os graneis sólidos que caíram cerca de 3%. Em contrapartida, a carga geral fracionada cresceu cerca de 22% e os graneis líquidos cerca de 6%.

  1. Port of Setúbal grew 8% in the first half of the year

Some 3.3 million tonnes were handled, with a particular emphasis on vehicles (+30%) and general breakbulk (+22%).

Also noteworthy is the growth in activity at the ro-ro terminal, mainly due to a 45% increase in the handling of new vehicles, and at the Tersado terminal, which grew by 27%, in this case with forest products, both logs, general bulk, and chips, solid bulk.

  1. Port of Lisbon grows 6.3% in the first half of the year

In the first half of the year, maritime traffic in the port of Lisbon was around 5.5 million tonnes, up 6.3% year-on-year. Bulk goods (liquids [+18.2%] and solids [+5%]) and containerised goods (+7.4%) contributed to this positive result.


Transportes e Negócios. (2023). Leixões lost 100,000 tons until June. Consulted on September 6, 2023, at:

Transportes e Negócios. (2023). Port of Aveiro has a record first half. Accessed on September 6, 2023, at: https: //

Transportes e Negócios. (2023). Port of Setúbal grew by 8% in the first half of the year. Consulted on September 6, 2023, at:

Transportes e Negócios. (2023). Ports lost 75,000 TEU until May. Consulted on September 6, 2023, at:

Transportes e Negócios. (2023). Portuguese ports are better than Spanish ones. Consulted on September 6, 2023, at:

Transportes e Negócios. (2023). The main ports lost containers. Consulted on September 6, 2023, at: