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Published: 13 December 2008      

Bilbao reluctant to take on haulage “cartel”

The port’s container drayage practices have come under fire again

Speaking at a recent business forum in Bilbao, José Angel Corres, president of Bilbao Port Authority (APBi), conceded that “everybody knows that in the Port of Bilbao a road haulage cartel exists, which should disappear.”

He acknowledged that the “closed shop” not only impeded competitiveness, but also prevented free access to the docks and had a knock-on effect on the price of freight haulage.

However, he reaffirmed his belief that it is not opportune to take on this cartel in the same aggressive manner that Barcelona Port Authority (APB) has recently done with cartels there. APB went as far as accusing road hauliers of carrying out a “reign of terror” in respect of the transport of containers.

Instead, Corres argues that the situation in Bilbao is extremely delicate, and with reference to previous attempts to introduce free competition in container haulage in Bilbao, he claimed that the situation is better than it was.

Nevertheless he openly conceded that wholly free tariffs do not yet exist, although there now are at least two alternatives and containers travelling over certain distances are no longer completely controlled by the cartel in the port. He said that more time was needed to rectify the existing situation.

  • Seville Port Authority has granted Bergé Marítima a concession to build a multi-purpose terminal in the Dársena del Cuarto costing E98M, of which E46M has been allocated towards infrastructure work and E52M towards equipment. The terminal will cover an area of 168,710 m2 and be accessed by 500m of linear quay. The aim is to handle around 1.5 Mtpa. Initially, revenue of E10M/year is expected, rising to E44M once the facility is fully operational.



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