The Port Authority of Algeciras Bay (APBA) is responsible for managing the ports at Algecira Bay and Tarifa, at the southernmost tip of Spain. The APBA celebrated its first century in 2006, together with that of the Port of Algeciras Bay. By Spanish law, port authorities are separate legal bodies authorized to act independently within the strictures of existing legislation and budgets under the supervision of the Central Government.
Just over 100 years old, the Port of Algeciras Bay is still growing, in both traffic and infrastructure. It is already the Spanish system's leading port and one of the European Union's busiest ports. During its first decades, the Port of Algeciras Bay concentrated on its fishing fleet and passenger traffic. The Port of Algeciras Bay began to boom when major industries moved to town. They were the ACERINOX Stainless Steel factory and CEPSA oil refinery.
Photo by Alex E. Proimos
The modern Port of Algeciras Bay is located strategically between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea on one of the world's most important shipping lanes. The Port of Algeciras Bay has become a hub for container transshipments in the West Mediterranean region.
The Port of Algeciras Bay offers a natural shelter and deep-draft conditions that attract seafarers. It is located centrally on shipping routes that link West Africa, Asia, North Europe, and the Americas. The Port of Algeciras Bay is also linked to a huge population of consumers in Spain's inland regions.
In 2011, over 28 thousand vessels visited the Port of Algeciras Bay, including 20.8 thousand passenger vessels made up of both cruise vessels and services between the Port of Algeciras Bay and Tangiers and the Canary Islands. More than three thousand container ships, 2.1 thousand tankers, and 285 roll-on/roll-off vessels stopped in the Port of Algeciras Bay in 2011.
In 2011, the Port of Algeciras Bay handled a total of 82.8 million tons of cargo, including 76.9 million tons of goods (52.3 million tons of general cargo, 23 million tons of liquid bulk, and 1.6 million tons of solid bulk). The Port of Algeciras Bay also handled 3.5 million tons of petroleum products, 2.5 million tons of local traffic, and 1.2 thousand tons of fresh fish.
The Port of Algeciras Bay handled over 2.3 million TEUs of containerized cargo in 2011, including 3.2 million TEUs of international traffic and 247.8 million TEUs of domestic cargo. Almost 4.5 million passengers used the Port of Algeciras Bay in 2011. During the year, the Port of Algeciras Bay handled 1.3 million vehicles, including 224.4 thousand industrial vehicles and almost 1.1 million TEUs in transit.
In order to serve the current and future shipping community and to meet its increasing traffic, the Port of Algeciras Bay is expanding its intermodal services and logistics. New developments are underway at Isla Verde Exterior and Campamento that will effectively double the size of the Port of Algeciras Bay. It is also adding a new secure 298-hectare Logistics Activity Zone (ZAL) that will help meet the demand for a multimodal center for distribution of goods.
Pier Juan Carlos I in the Port of Algeciras Bay is home to the APM Terminals Algeciras. Dedicated to container traffic, the APM Terminal covers over 68 hectares and contains 2124 meters (almost seven thousand feet) of berths with alongside depths from 14 to 16 meters (45.9 to 52.5 feet). The Port of Algeciras Bay's APM Terminals also has 10,476 container slots and 19 quay cranes, including ten super post-Panamax cranes, and 64 rubber-tyred gantry cranes.
Located adjacent to the APM Terminals in the Port of Algeciras Bay is a Border Inspection Post approved by the European Union for inspection all types of products and live animals. The two-acre facility contains over one thousand square meters (11 thousand square feet) for inspecting plants (like vegetables), 1.3 thousand square meters (14.5 thousand square feet) for inspecting animal products, and 460 square meters (almost five thousand square feet) for inspecting live animals.
In Isla Verde is an 846-meter (2.8 thousand-foot) wharf with alongside depth of 14.5 meters (47.6 feet) for handling containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes. This Port of Algeciras Bay public terminal is operated by Acciona. It covers a total of 18 hectares and also contains the "Algeciras Reefer" terminal with capacity of 20 thousand cubic meters (167.7 thousand liquid gallons US) for refrigerated products and 14 loading platforms.
The Board of Administration for the Port of Algeciras Bay approved a license for Total Terminal International Algeciras (TTI Algeciras) to build and operate a third container terminal. Located in the Isla Verde Exterior area, the new terminal covers 29.3 hectares, including two quays of 650 meters (2.1 thousand feet) and 550 meters (1.8 thousand feet) and about 5.8 hectares of maneuvering zone. This Port of Algeciras Bay began operations in 2010.
The Fishing Wharf at the Port of Algeciras Bay covers seven acres, including the fish market of 2.5 acres. An additional 2.2-acre facility also contains auction zones, areas for local exporters, and facilities for fishing industry activities. Included in these facilities is a 1.1-acre refrigerated warehouse and a freezing tunnel with capacity for 16 metric tons per day.
The world's biggest tankers (up to 320 thousand DWT) can anchor the CEPSA Refinery's 1600-meter (5.3 thousand foot) jetty with alongside depth from six to 20 meters (19.7 to 65.6 feet) for loading and unloading petroleum and petroleum products.
In 2009, a new oil terminal opened in the Isla Verde Exterior area of the Port of Algeciras Bay.
In 2009, a new roll-on/roll-off terminal, along with containers, began operations in the Port of Algeciras Bay's Isla Verde Exterior area.
Passenger service is an important part of the work of the Port of Algeciras Bay, and a new three-acre harbor station directs the entrance and exit of passenger traffic. The departure lounges for passengers going to Ceuta and Tanger as well as a cafeteria, vehicle rentals, luggage check, and duty free stores are located in the upper station area. The ground floor of this Port of Algeciras Bay passenger terminal serves arrivals, ticket sales, and other traveler services. The old harbor station in the Port of Algeciras Bay covers 1.7 acres. Connected to the new passenger terminal, the old harbor is now a commercial gallery containing offices, banking, travel agencies, cafeterias, and other passenger services. With a total area of 4.7 acres, the passenger terminal complex has capacity to serve over 4.5 million passengers a year. The roll-on/roll-off facility for the terminal contains eight ramps and dock space for cruise vessels.
The Port of Algeciras Bay carefully adheres to the Code of Environmental Conduct established by the European Sea Ports Organization and is dedicated to protecting the environment. The Local Coordination Centre Services (CLCS) provides media-based maritime services to fulfill this commitment. Among the major factors employed for environmental protection are the collection of wastes generated by ships, a modern treatment plant, and very low user fees dedicated to environmental protection.
The Port of Algeciras Bay offers ship repair services that allow minimal deviation for cargo vessels from the normal sea routes. In the Campamento area of the Port of Algeciras Bay, a dedicated ship repair dock is complemented by a floating dock that can accommodate ships to eight thousand tons. The Campamento facility is also being expanded to support new projects.
A new Commercial Leisure Center was opened in the Port of Algeciras Bay in 2010 to provide facilities to support nautical sports and other leisure activities for visitors and residents alike.