The Port of Cartagena is Spain’s 6th busiest commercial port, despite its decline in the later 20th Century. It has and is undergoing significant expansion and improvement efforts to provide better services and links to the nation’s road network. In the last few years, the port has built a Container Terminal, General Cargo Terminal, Fruit and Vegetable Terminal, and Border Inspection building. In 2006, plans were begun for a new marina and new terminals for containers, general, and roll-on/roll-off cargo.
The Autoridad Portuaria Cartagena (APC), a state-owned organization, is responsible for managing port services, developing and operating port facilities, overseeing cargo-handling, granting concessions and hiring port services, collecting fees, and reporting on port activities.
The Port of Cartagena contains almost 218 hectares of commercial water surface and 1.7 million square meters of land area, including 521.6 thousand square meters of warehouses. It also operates 4.8 hectares outside the basin area.
Cruise traffic has increased dramatically in the Mediterranean area over the past few years, and the Port of Cartagena is committed to providing outstanding services to its passengers. To this end, it has added a new berth for cruise vessels located in the marina near the city center. The berth accommodates vessels to 300 meters long with 12.5 meters draft, an esplanade of over three thousand square meters, and four ship mooring dolphins.
The Alfonso XII Quay has become a valuable commercial and leisure center for the Port of Cartagena. Providing underground parking, commercial offices, parks, gardens, and restaurants, it is a showcase of the city’s heritage and culture.
The Cartagena Basin contains the Cruise Terminal and the Marina with capacity for 400 recreational vessels, the Yacht Club, and commercial areas. The new Alfonso XII Quay is 400 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters.
Also in the Cartagena Basin is the Container Terminal at the Santa Lucia Quay. The quay is 385 meters long with alongside depth of 11 meters, and the terminal covers 127 thousand square meters. It includes a roll-on/roll-off ramp for containers and has the capacity to handle 25 containers per hour.
The General Goods Terminal at the San Pedro Dock in the Cartagena Basin contains 405 meters of multi-purpose quay with alongside depth of 11 meters. The terminal covers over 130 thousand square meters and includes refrigerated warehouses with capacity for seven thousand pallets and shed area of six thousand square meters.
The Port of Cartagena’s Escombreras Basin contains the Solid Bulk Terminal at the Principe Felipe and Isaac Peral Quays. The Principe Felipe Sur Quay is 350 meters long with alongside depth of 13.5 meters. It covers over 109 thousand square meters with alongside depth of 13.5 meters that can accommodate vessels of 75 thousand TPM.
With six thousand square meters of closed warehouse and warehouses and tanks of seven thousand square meters for chemical fertilizers, the quay is directly connected to Spain’s railway system. The Principe Felipe Oeste Quay’s berth is 180 meters long with alongside depth of 11.9 meters dedicated to solid and liquid bulk cargoes. The quay covers over seven thousand square meters.
The Port of Cartagena’s Isaac Peral Quay covers 164 thousand square meters, and its wharf is 480 meters long with alongside depth of 13.2 meters. It can accommodate vessels to 60 thousand TPM, and it contains five closed warehouses with capacity for 19.2 thousand square meters of cargo. The Quay also has direct connections to the nation’s rail network.
The Port of Cartagena’s Inflammable Cargo Terminal serves several quays. The Principe Felipe Norte Quay is a multi-purpose quay for solid and liquid bulk cargoes, and it can accommodate vessels to 200 meters long with 12.5 meters draft. The Bastarreche Quay, at 762 meters long with alongside depth of 21 meters, handles supertankers carrying fuel oil and gas.
The Maese Quay is 367 meters long with alongside depth of 10.6 meters. With 12 gas oil taps, it handles all kinds of gas oil, petroleum, and lubricant oil. The Pantalan Quay has two berths, one of them 225 meters long with alongside depth of 14.5 meters and the other 200 meters long with alongside depth of 11.1 meters. These berths serve butane tankers carrying petroleum, methanol, and liquefied petroleum gases.
The Espigon Quay, at 186 meters long with alongside depth of 8.6 meters, serves liquefied petroleum gases. The Sureste Berth is 250 meters long with alongside depth of 14.5 meters for liquid bulk. It also has a new pier with alongside depth of 16 meters for unloading gas. The Methane Berth is 445 meters long with alongside depth of 16 meters.
The Port of Cartagena’s Industrial Area covers 270 thousand square meters, and it includes a 4-hectare terminal for liquid cargoes. The Escombreras Expansion provides 600 thousand square meters to serve industries exporting cargoes.
In 2007, the Port of Cartagena processed over 17 million tons of cargo carried by 1114 vessels, including almost 13 million tons of liquid bulk cargos and more than 33 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. The Port of Cartagena also served over 21 thousand passengers in 2007.