Categories: EuropePublished On: 14.01.20211200 words6.1 min read
The goals of the Port of Barcelona’s Fourth Strategic Plan are to increase the value of goods, reduce emissions and increase the number of workers
  • Topping €70 billion in foreign trade value; electrifying 50% of container and ro-ro wharves; and reaching a total of 40,000 workers are just some of the milestones set out in the Plan.
  • “We want to take on these challenges with drive and courage and we ask society, companies and administrations to join us in reaching these goals,” says the President of the Port. 

The Port of Barcelona places society and people at the very heart of its Fourth Strategic Plan for 2021-2025, aiming as its first mission to generate well-being and prosperity for citizens, reaffirming the social and sustainable commitment that this infrastructure has been making over the last few years.

To achieve this, the Strategic Plan revolves around a general objective, with three quantifiable milestones, as explained by Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona, in today’s presentation. As regards economic sustainability, the goal is to increase the value of foreign trade passing through the Port of Barcelona from the current €65 billion to €70 billion by 2025. The goal in terms of environmental sustainability is to electrify 50% of container and ro-ro docks and to have a provisional network and OPS connections consolidated or with electrification projects underway. For social sustainability, we want to increase human capital to 40,000 people working daily or regularly at the Port.
Mercè Conesa unveiled this Fourth Strategic Plan today along with José Alberto Carbonell, General Manager of the Port of Barcelona, and Joaquim Llansó, Vice President of the Business Association Foment de Treball, in an online event held at the Association’s head office.
The new Plan has marked two timelines: one running until 2025, for which a set of specific and quantifiable strategic and operational objectives has been defined, and a long-term horizon, up to 2040, marking the main lines of action to guarantee the Port of Barcelona a consolidated and competitive position.
The way forward marked by this Fourth Strategic Plan will create “a port that will have modernised its infrastructures; generated economic activity and supported the productive fabric; a port that will maintain economic growth, which is indispensable. Our Strategic Plan will therefore bring about a more prosperous society, and a greener and more human port”, said the President of the Port of Barcelona during her speech.
The Fourth Strategic Plan, which gives continuity to the various strategic documents published by the Port of Barcelona since 1997, is the result of a participatory process involving 200 practitioners from Barcelona Port Community and the main Port stakeholders. The new Plan has analysed possible future scenarios and trends and has made a strategic proposal, defined by a mission – the raison d’être of the Port – and a vision: the image of the future.
Generating well-being and prosperity for society
The document maintains the mission defined in the previous strategic plans, “To contribute to the competitiveness of customers by providing efficient services”, but for the first time it puts two substantial elements at the forefront: community and sustainability. Thus, the new mission of the Port of Barcelona is:
“To generate prosperity in our community, increasing the competitiveness of our customers by providing efficient and sustainable logistics and transport services”
Sustainability is brought in from its three aspects —environmental, economic and social— and, connecting directly with the social area, defines that the ultimate goal of the Port is to create well-being for the community that makes it up and hosts it by performing its role as a logistics port and hub. At this point, the president of the Port of Barcelona showed her conviction that “this Plan augurs a future full of optimism, despite the current pandemic we are living through.”
Likewise, the vision defined in the new Strategic Plan – “SMART logistics hub. The SMARTest logistic hub in the MED”- implies that the Port of Barcelona must overcome the traditional function of a port oriented to maritime traffic to consolidate itself as a multidisciplinary space where all means of transport converge, regardless of the origin and destination of the goods.
Strategic Objectives
As a result of this mission and vision, the Fourth Strategic Plan has established 12 Strategic Objectives, which are developed in various concrete and quantifiable operational objectives based on the three pillars of sustainability. In this way, the Port of Barcelona reaffirms its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These goals are oriented towards fostering the energy transition (renewable energy generation, wharf electrification, fostering cleaner fuels, etc.) to facilitate the decarbonisation of port activity and minimise its impact on the environment and people; increasing the competitiveness of the Port by diversifying port business and differentiating the offer of services by focusing on innovation, digitalisation and the capacity to adapt to change, while attracting new logistics activity; and enhancing human capital, promoting specific and quality training and facilitating the generation of knowledge focal points in sectors such as logistics and the blue economy.
José Alberto Carbonell, the Port of Barcelona’s General Manager, presented the 12 Strategic Objectives and emphasised social sustainability. “We employ 37,000 people at the Port. We want to increase that number. That is why we must focus on promoting the training that companies need and encouraging entrepreneurship”, bearing in mind “the need to integrate persons with disabilities and at risk of social exclusion” and detecting the “new economies that can generate new employment and are now at an initial innovation stage”, such as the blue economy.
The General Manager also underscored the wish to create a port that is more accessible to the public and announced the development of an urban master plan to create more than 40 hectares of green areas with an investment of almost €24 million, linking the Llobregat agricultural park with the Montjuïc mountain.”
From the infrastructure perspective, the President of the Port announced that this Plan “is the starting point for the new Catalunya Wharf, which will position all containerised activity in the southern sector of the port.”
Based on trends within the sector, the Fourth Strategic Plan has set out potential scenarios for 2040 and which actions need to be taken (differentiating the offer of services and activity, leading decarbonisation, focusing more on the customer, promoting new logistics land, etc.) to reach the goal of becoming The SMARTest logistic hub in the MED.
Mercè Conesa ended her speech saying that “we aim to take on these challenges with drive and courage and we call on society, companies and administrations to join us in these goals, which must be shared by all.”
You can download the materials from the presentation of the Port of Barcelona Fourth Strategic Plan 2021-2025 here:
photo1: From left to right: Joaquim Llansó, Vice President of Foment del Treball; Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona; and José Alberto Carbonell, General Manager.

Photo1: From left to right: Joaquim Llansó, Vice President of Foment del Treball; Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona; and José Alberto Carbonell, General Manager.

Photo 2: Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona, during the presentation of the Fourth Strategic Plan 2021-2025, held at the head office of Foment del Treball.