Sostenibilidad y reutilización

Los expertos en gestión del agua tienen cada día más claro que el futuro pasa por la reutilización sostenible de las aguas residuales, porque solo así se garantizará un acceso soidario al agua para todos, sin que nadie se quede atrás observando con sana envidia cómo reutilizan los ricos. ¿Es posible que este desiderátum se…

a través de Estrategias para una reutilización seductora para el cliente — FUTURO DEL AGUA

Port of Veracruz (MEX)

This month I would like to write about maritime traffic in Mexico and especially about its main seaport on the east coast: Veracruz.

Aerial view (Source:

Almost 1 million TEU were moved last year at Veracruz. Undoubtedly, a great figure which is  very promising.


The Port of Veracruz was established by Hernan Cortes in 1600 and designated as a city in 1615. Cortes used the Port of Veracruz as his base for conquest inland to Tenochtitlan while his officers pacified the territory of today’s state of Veracruz.

The Port of Veracruz prospered from being the main link between Spain and colonial Mexico. Through the Port of Veracruz, products like cotton, rice, textiles, wine, domestic animals, and wheat were shipped to Europe.

During the Mexican-American War, U.S. troops captured Veracruz, and the French used it as an entry to Mexico during the reign of Emperor Maximilian during the 1860s. Both of Mexico’s constitutions (1857 and 1917) were proclaimed in the Port of Veracruz.

Container traffic

On the Pacific coast (west coast) of the country there are 2 main ports: Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas Port. Both of them compete directly against Veracruz trying to attract most of the maritime traffic which crosses Panama Canal.


If we show this data in another way we can see that Altamira and Veracruz (east coast) represent together the 31% while Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas reach the 62% of the total traffic.


This means that 4 main ports of Mexico move the 93% of the TEU in the country and that west coast of is more specialised in container traffic than east coast. In future posts I am going to analyze the distribution of container traffic in America comparing its west and east coast ports.


Probably the best way to foresee the future is look at the past. Therefore we can compare Mexico with their neighbour countries. I decided not to include USA because I beleive it is not a direct competitor with Mexico as a country, even though Port of Veracruz do compete  in container traffic against some American ports such as Jacksonville (935K TEU in 2015).


This graphic shows a clear tendency of growth on the upcoming years and even Canada can suffer the Mexican sorpasso. The future rate of container traffic growth in Mexico and Panama could be similar.







Port of Vancouver (Canada)

Last month, we talked about the greatest port in the US, so it´s time to focus on Canada. This country has around 36 million of inhabitants and almost 35% live in the metropolitan areas of the 3 biggest cities: Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec) and Vancouver (British Coumbia). Ironically, the capital of Canada is none of these. It is Ottawa as you know.

Aerial view (

This port is fairly well protected by the Vancouver Island and its ubication was sharply chosen in order to simplify vessel´s manouverability.

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the most diversified port in North America. The port offers 27 major marine cargo terminals, three Class 1 railroads and a regional short line railroad.

A general map of the port clarifies the magnitude of the distance between the different terminals which makes absolutely crutial to have great infraestructures in order to ensure proper communications.


Container traffic

There are 4 common-user container terminals with total annual capacity of nearly 3 million TEU. In 2016, 2.7 million TEU were handled at the port which makes an efficiency average of 90%.

Container terminals (
  • Centerm:  it is located at the South Shore Burrard Inlet. It operates six gantry cranes on two berths, on-dock rail facilities and an advanced operating system that tracks a variety of containerized cargo in real time.
  • Deltaport:  includes 10 gantry cranes and handles containerized cargo. It is currently Canada’s largest container terminal, with three berths, on-dock rail facilities and the only quad lift crane in North or South America.
  • Fraser Surrey Docks: multi-purpose marine terminal handling containers as well as bulk products.
  • Vanterm: it has six gantry cranes, on-dock rail facilities for containerized cargo, and handles containerized cargo from the adjacent West Coast Reduction facility.

Taking into account that Canada container traffic was 5.6 million TEU in 2014, the Port of Vancouver represented almost the 50% of the whole country.

Canada container traffic (Own preparation)


Shore power is a clean technology that enables ships that are fitted with the necessary technical apparatus to shut down auxiliary engines and connect to hydroelectric power.

This port is the 3rd in the world with shore power and the main benefits are:

  • reduces fuel consumption while at berth, resulting in lower emissions
  • reduces noise associated with ship engines
  • powers ships from clean hydro electricity, resulting in a reduction in sulphur oxides
  • improves air quality for terminal employees and surrounding communities


A container traffic forecast study developed in 2016 concludes that the Port of Vancouver remains a highly-competitive option for import and export container volumes moving forward.

By 2025, the port’s terminals are projected to be handling over 4.8 million TEU per annum in total , compared to the 2015 confirmed total of just over 3.0 million TEU. It can be outlined that there is already a pressing need for investment in additional capacity at the Port of Vancouver just to keep pace with projected container demand growth.

Los Angeles: America´s Port

8.8 million TEU in 2016, the largest port in the whole continent, the 19th in the container world ranking,  896,000 employees throughout the LA County Region & 3.6 million worldwide, 430,189 passengers per year, 165.1 million metric revenue tons… All these unbelievable figures make L.A. a strategic emplacement in USA´s economy system.


It is noteworthy the proximity of the Port of Long Beach 21st container port in the world and the 2nd in America. This fact is likely to be something unique in the whole planet as it is really uncommon to find two top ports so close in the same country. In this case, Long Beach Port plays a little-brother-role but with a total throughput of 6.8 million TEU (not so little) last year.


Past vs present 

Let´s make a comparison between then and now in order to outline the evolution of this great harbour:

When the Port celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1957, its annual revenue was $7.8 million. Today, the Port’s annual operating revenue is $446 million.

Construction of the Port’s first container terminal cost $1.8 million in 1960. Today, that same terminal would cost $21 million to build.

In 1907, the Port of Los Angeles handled $2 million worth of cargo. Today, the Port handles nearly $270 billion worth of cargo annually.

The container fee in 1977 (when first published in Port of Los Angeles Tariff No. 4) was $52.00 for a 20-foot container, compared to today’s fee of $193.20 for a 20-foot container.

(Source: and Port of Los Angeles)


The 2012-2017 Strategic Plan  declares that the Port of Los Angeles’ goal is to retain its position as the #1 volume container port in North America while continuing the competitive edge in environmental initiatives, security measures, and social responsibility.

The vision represents what the port is and the mission how to develop day-to-day activities in order to ensure that vision. They say that: We deliver value to our customers by providing superior infrastructure and promoting efficient operations that grow our port as North America’s preferred gateway.

This mission is strongly related to the 4 main objectives which are:

  1. World-Class Infrastructure that Promotes Growth
  2. An Efficient, Secure and Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chain
  3. Improved Financial Performance of Port Assets
  4. Strong Relationships with Stakeholders


California Water Plan

Tras seis años consecutivos de sequía, pocas restricciones quedan por implementar en la tierra donde los sueños se hacen realidad, en esos bellos paisajes que ilustran e iluminan las películas de nuestra vida. California tiene un problema de difícil solución, porque por muy elevado que sea el nivel de vida de muchos de sus habitantes,…

a través de El plan hidrológico de California 2018: cómo hacer de la conservación de una cuenca un modo de vida — FUTURO DEL AGUA

Port of Antwerp (Amberes)

As always, let´s start with some figures to realize the importance of the port: 2nd largest container port in Europe, 9.6 million TEU moved last year and a container capacity of 15 million TEU which makes a rate of 64%, 40 moves per crane per hour, , 2nd port in SSS (short sea shipping)…


Romans, Vikings, the Spanish, Napoleon; they all understood the strategic importance of the Scheldt. Thanks to its location to the river, Antwerp has become what it is today: a metropolis with an international seaport.

This port has some particularities such as: its location (really close to other great ports like Rotterdam or Felixstowe) and the maritime access (by the Scheldt river crossing the border between the Netherlands and Belgium).


Antwerp is already the biggest port area in the world. Over the centuries, the area grew to exactly 12,068 hectares, or about 20,000 football fields. The main figures are the following:

Area Right bank         6,784 HA
Area Left bank            5,284 HA
Total area port area 12,068 HA

Length roads     409 km
Length rails      1061 km
Length pipes   1000 km
Length quays      157 km
Number of docks    48

Container terminal (Source: Port of Antwerp)

With the opening of the Berendrecht Lock (1989), a crowning achievement in developing the right bank dock complex was obtained. With a length of 500 m between the lock gates and a width of 68 m, the Berendrecht lock is one of the largest locks in the world. This lock has a depth of 13.50 m, which makes the sill depth at mean high water equal to 17.75 m.

The Deurganck dock has a length of 2.5 km and consists of a total of 1,200,000 m3 of concrete. The Kieldrecht Lock, a new lock at the end of the Deurganckdock, giving access to the docks in the port area on the left bank opened in June 2016 and is the largest dock in the world with an investment of 340 million euros.


For many European companies, the Port of Antwerp is the link with other continents, and for many companies in the farthest corners of the world it is the gateway to Europe. The Port of Antwerp has more than 500 direct destinations all over the world.

Moreover, the Business plan of the port is based on foundations laid by the “Total Plan for a Competitive Port” and the provisions of the Regional Land Use Plan for development of the Antwerp port area. The following basic principles continue to be the foundation for the Business plan:

  • the need to think in terms of supply chains
  • the insight that the Port of Antwerp is a unique platform by the interaction between industry, logistics and maritime transhipment.


Dublin Port

15th in Europe and 65th in the world ranking. Being an island, Ireland’s only way of trading is through seaports and airports. Irish seaports handle 99.5% of Irish foreign trade (by volume).

The port employs 4000 people in the port area and is undoubtedly the busiest port of Ireland.

History and main figures

Originally, the medieval port of Dublin was located on the south bank of the river Liffey, just upstream from its present location. In 1715, the port entrance was sheltered with the construction of the Great South Wall.

In 1791, the port moved downstream, and the advent of containerised traffic in the second half of the 20th century resulted in the port moving again. Further downstream this time, to enable new wharves to be built.

Today, Peel Ports Dublin’s container terminal handles almost a third of Dublin’s container traffic. And overall we handle nearly 1 in 5 of all containers in Ireland. It’s a port with a rich, proud history, which has set the foundation for an equally exciting and industrious future.

Among all the facts and figures it is important to outline that 80% of all imports and exports through Dublin Port are transported in containers.

For those who want more info about this port, I have found a very interesting blog  that you can check here.


Panoramic view (Source:


Dublin Port Company’s Masterplan is a vision and framework for the long term development of Ireland’s largest and busiest port. This video gives an insight into some of the potential projects and outcomes of a Masterplan for Dublin Port, the economy, Dublin City and its citizens.

Proposals have been raised about moving the port to the new Port of Drogheda facility proposed for Bremore in north County Dublin.

Over many years, the Dublin Port authorities have been exploring a controversial proposal to in-fill 21 hectares (52 acres) of Dublin Bay – a continuation of historical practice, as all of the port land was once part of Dublin Bay anyway. Residents on areas near the proposed in-fill, on the north side of the Liffey, are strongly opposed to the plan.



Port of Gdansk: Poland

This port shows an unbelievable container traffic growth with 238,000 TEU in 2009 and 1,212,000 TEU in 2014.

The Gdansk port is a major international transportation hub situated in the central part of the southern Baltic coast, which ranks among Europe’s fastest growing regions. According to the strategy of European Union the Port of Gdansk plays a significant role as a key link in the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 1 connecting the Nordic countries with Southern and Eastern Europe. Great aerial views can be watched on this link from the web of the Port Authority.

The city and the port

Gdansk is a remarkable city owing to its over 1000-year’s tradition, outstanding architectural heritage and historical significance. Over the past centuries it has always been inseparably related to the sea. Situated at the intersection of the routes running from the east to the west of Europe, as well as from the north to the south, Gdansk contributed to the development of the international trade and became a long-standing part of the Hanzeatic tradition. The city stood out against the others due to its open-minded attitude towards the world, rich amalgam of different cultural backgrounds, as well as the historical complexity that added up to the city’s symbolic appearance.

Container terminals

Container handling at the Port of Gdansk is concentrated in the inner port at the Szczecinskie Quay  operated by the Gdansk Container Terminal (GTK) and at the Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) situated in the outer port.

These terminals operate mainly feeder and short sea shipping services. The Deepwater Container Terminal is designed to accommodate the largest vessels that can enter the Baltic Sea i.e. Postpanamax vessels.

  • Szczecinskie Quay (GTK): This terminal can service ships of a maximum capacity of 20,000 DWT. This quay can service ships operated in Lo/Lo and Ro/Ro systems. The terminal handled 16,136 TEU sea-borne in 2015.
Gdansk Container Terminal (photo
  • Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT): This one os situated in the outer port became operational on 1 June 2007 with the arrival of the first commercial container ship. In the first years of operation, the terminal specialised in handling feeder ships. Since January 2010, container ships from the Far East with a capacity of 8,000 TEU stopped at the Port of Gdansk every week. The direct connection with Asia contributed to the development of the DCT, which became a Baltic hub and one of the fastest developing terminals in the world.
    In 2011, the terminal began to handle E class container ships with a capacity of 15,500 TEU, and in 2013, Triple-E class container ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU, the world’s largest container ships at the time, operated by the Maersk Line. In 2015, the terminal handled 1,069,705 TEU.
DCT (photo / DCT Gdansk SA)

Amongst the main figures of this terminal we should outline the 49ha terminal area, the 650m of operating quay and the storage capacity of 30,800TEU.





Port of Piraeus: Greek growth

From 0.7M TEU in 2009 to 3.5M TEU last year and growing more and more every year. In fact, it is the best growth rate in the world: 476% in 2009-2013 period. That makes this port 8th in Europe, 3rd in Mediterranean Sea and 1st in Greece according to 2015 Lloyd’s list.

Container terminal (Source: Piraeus Port Authority)

Piraeus Port offers unique advantages because of its strategic position and infrastructure. Situated at the outskirts of Athens and only 10 km away from the city centre, it acts as the main gate for Hellenic imports and exports.

Situated close to the international trade routes, the port is a hub of international trade being the only European port in the East Mediterranean with the necessary infrastructure for the accommodation of transshipment cargo. Gioia Tauro (Italy)Ambarli (Turkey) and Marsaxlokk (Malta) are probably its main competitors, especially in container traffic.

The Port of Piraeus has 3 car terminals with a total length of 1.4 km, a land area of 180,000 m2, storage capacity of 12,000 cars and a transhipment capacity of 670,000 units per year.


Container terminal

There are 2 platforms; the East one of 500m length and 18m depth and the West one of 320m length and 12m depth.

The main figures are the following:



  • Car Refrigerator (Reefer) 4.700m2, 72 ground locations, 144 outlets
  • Hazardous Area (IMO) 4.700m2, 91 ground locations
  • Straddle carriers area 4.500m2, 364 ground locations
  • Empty area 13.800m2, 834 ground locations
  • Total Area for containers 72.400m2

Regarding the mechanical equipment for load/unload:

  • 7 Ship To Shore Cranes

4 Over Super Post Panamax (22–wide / 65 tons under Spreader) Twin-lift
3 Panamax (13–wide / 65 tons under Spreader) Twin-lift

  • 1 Harbor Mobile Crane: Panamax (13-wide / 100 tons under hook / 50 tons under Spreader) Twin-lift

Between the mechanical equipment for yard management are available 10 straddle carriers, 8 rail mounted gantry cranes and 1 reach stacker.

Following this link, you can learn more about this amazing Greek port.



Next to the station, the new waterside railway station of the Hellenic Railways Organization will operate, whose main railway line will link the length of the freight port of N. Konya with the new Freight Station of Intermodal Transport in Athens at Thriassio of Eleusina.

Moreover, the construction of a new ultra modern exhibition center in the Palataki region (70.000m2), will decisively contribute to the development of the City and will make the port of Piraeus an international exhibition and events center.

Saint Petersburg: the marine capital of Russia

Moving around 2.5 million TEUs per year, I strongly believe it is time to talk about the largest container port in Russia: Saint Petersburg. Most of the berths in the Port of St. Petersburg can handle vessels with draft of 9.8 meters; however, there are berths that can accommodate vessels with drafts to 11 meters and length of 320 meters. Its berths handle containers, timber, cars, machinery, heavy weight and over-sized cargo, coal, grain, and a wide range of other cargoes. The Port of St. Petersburg is linked to ports all over the world by 24 shipping lines.


Container terminal (Source)

As far as society is concerned, the Port of St. Petersburg employs more than two thousand people and al least 4 million people live around it.


Origin & location

Seeking an outlet to the Baltic, Russia’s Peter the Great took control of the delta River Neva in 1703. Soon after that, he laid the foundation stones for his Peter-Paul Fortress on Zayachy Island, thus establishing the Port of St. Petersburg. Peter continued to construct fortifications to protect delta approaches and founded a shipyard from which the first warship was launched in 1706. This city was even the capital of the empire for a period.

The Port of St. Petersburg is located in the delta of the Neva River as it enters the Gulf of Finland in the middle taiga lowlands in western Russia. About 165 nautical miles east-southeast of the Port of Helsinki in Finland and about 185 nautical miles east of the Port of Tallinn in Estonia, this russian port covers 42 islands in the delta and some of the mainland floodplain. The Port of St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia after Moscow. In 2006, over 4.5 million people lived in the Port of St. Petersburg, as a city.


Container terminals

There are 4 main container terminals (they are also the largest in the Baltic Sea) and a dry port as a logistics centre:

  • In 1998, the First Container Terminal (FCT) was created as a stevedoring company specialized in container-handling operations. Now FCT is the leading container-handling terminal in Russia and in the Baltic Sea Region with a throughput capacity of 1.25M TEU per year. It covers an area of 89 hectares. Total quay length is 1058 meters (3537 feet), with operational berthing distance of 780 meters (2559 feet) and alongside depth of 11.5 meters (37.7 feet). The container yards have annual throughput capacity for 1.35 million TEUs and storage capacity for 31 thousand TEUs including 2900 reefer plugs. It is equipped with eight 50-ton STS Panamax cranes, one 104-ton mobile crane, three 45-ton RMG cranes, 19 50-ton rubber-tyred gantry cranes, 37 straddle carriers, and a fleet of reachstackers, terminal tractors, and empty-handlers.
  • The Ust-Luga Container Terminal (ULCT)  was the first deep-water container terminal in Russia. Located outside the Port of St. Petersburg urban area, terminal operations do not have the infrastructure and ecological constraints of terminals in the urban area. In this video its main characteristics are outlined.
  • The Petrolesport OJSC Container Terminal moved last year 850 000 TEUs and has the capacity to handle over 1 000 000 TEU per year.This gives us a quite remarkable 85% of efficiency in this terminal.
  • The Container Terminal Saint Petersburg (CJSC) handles all types of containers in the port’s fourth cargo area on the Turukhtannie Isles in the Coal Harbor of the Gulf of Finland. Opened to supplement out-dated container and general cargo facilities, the Port of St. Petersburg’s CJSC has annual capacity for 500 thousand TEUs. The CJSC has three berths with total length of 666 meters (2185 feet) with alongside depths of 9.63 and 11 meters (31.6 and 36.1 feet). Two railway tracks of 480 meters (1575 feet) serve this Port of St. Petersburg terminal.
  • The Logistika Terminal (LT) includes the container terminal, an empty container depot, a container freight station, and considerable warehousing and distribution facilities. The LT in the Port of St. Petersburg is served by roads and rail. The LT gives the Port of St. Petersburg dry port technology where containers can be offloaded from the First Container Terminal to the LT off-dock facility under a simplified customs control system. Today, the Port of St. Petersburg’s Logistika-Terminal has capacity to handle 500 thousand TEUs per year. It is equipped with four 50-ton container cranes and has a container yard with capacity for over 14.3 thousand TEUs, including 1150 reefer plugs.


Rail and intermodal connections

The Oktyabrskaya (October) Railway serves the Port of St. Petersburg and is part of the Russian Railways (RZhD), the national rail carrier for the Russian Federation. The second largest rail network in the world, RZhD operates more than 86 thousand kilometers of carrier and industrial routes. The October Railway is Russia’s oldest railway, stretching from the Leningrad Terminal in Moscow to beyond the Arctic Circle in Murmansk. The October Railway has more than 10 thousand kilometers of rail, and its headquarters are located in the Port of St. Petersburg.



This Russian port is implementing an infrastructure program through this year that includes the addition of several facilities such as a terminal with capacity for 2 million tons of ferrous metals each year and multi-purpose handling facilities with capacity for three million tons per year. This Port of St. Petersburg programme also includes the second stage of the Ust-Luga Container Terminal, adding annual capacity for 1.2 million TEUs and the second stage of the car terminal, adding capacity for 170 thousand units per year. In addition, the program includes modernizing reloading complexes to double throughput capacity.