Barcelona occupies 10th position among the major urban areas in the world in receiving foreign investment projects and ranks 19th worldwide and 10th in Europe for global competitiveness.
These are three of the findings from the Barcelona Observatory 2014, prepared by the Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce from prestigious studies and a set of economic and social indicators. The study compares the Catalan capital with major cities in the world and makes it possible to confirm once again that Barcelona is strengthening its economic and business ranking in the global elite of cities. In this sense, we must highlight the strength of the Barcelona brand, which has become the 6th most powerful city brand worldwide.
The report highlights the fact that the Catalan capital in 2013 improved two positions in receiving international investment projects, and fifteen positions in the ranking of European cities with most prospects, ranking ahead of Berlin, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Paris, all linked to a growing internationalization of the city’s economy. The Barcelona Observatory 2014 also stresses that the city is the first in the world in number of delegates and fourth in number of organized international conferences, only behind Paris, Madrid and Vienna, and that the rate of entrepreneurial activity in the province of Barcelona is maintained above those of Germany, France and Finland.
Moreover, according to data from the Department of Enterprise and Employment, foreign investment in Catalonia reached, in the period from January to September 2014, 2,654 million euros, representing an increase of nearly 35% over the same period in 2013, and amounting to approximately 28% of the state total.
Inditex's investment is 190 million euros, Desigual’s 150 million euros, and Mango’s 360 million euros.
Inditex has this year finished expanding its logistics platform in Tordera-Palafolls (Barcelona), investing more than € 190 million and creating 500 new jobs. The expansion of the area by 100,000 square new metres means increasing the capacity of distribution from this area by 60%, because there is a new logistics warehouse, a packaging silo with a capacity for more than 200,000 boxes, a new silo for hanging clothes with a capacity for 2 million garments, plus the expansion of logistics equipment.
Inditex already has in Tordera-Palafolls a facility of 165,000 square metres, divided into four units, from which the clothing brands Massimo Dutti, Oysho and Berska are distributed to more than 2,300 stores worldwide; distribution of the Stradivarius clothing brand is carried out from the Inditex logistics centre in Sallent (Barcelona). Likewise, from this logistics platform, Inditex manages all the online business sales of the group, except for Zara and Zara Home.
Catalonia is one of Inditex’s busiest centres, as here it has the logistics centres to distribute garments and accessories for the fashion chains Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Bershka, Stradivarius, Lefties and also Uterqüe.
As for Desigual, this fashion chain is building its new distribution logistics platform for Europe in the area of Ca n'Alemany, in the town of Terrassa (Barcelona), the area owned by the Catalan Land Institute (Incasòl) which sold the land. The new centre, 90,000 square metres ,in which Desigual has invested 150 million euros, joins the one the company already has in Gava (Barcelona), and will also be the international headquarters for the company’s e-commerce operations. The Desigual complex also has 20,000 square metres for its own administrative activities and showrooms in addition to the corporate headquarters of Desigual, opened in 2012 and also 20,000 square metres, located in the port of Barcelona and in which the company invested 20 million euros. The new facility will be operational during the second half of this year and will enable Desigual to increase its distribution capacity by 55 million pieces in its first phase.
Finally, Mango is building a new logistics centre in the town of Lliçà d'Amunt (Barcelona), in which it will invest about 360 million euros and which will be devoted to the distribution of textile garments and accessories worldwide. The complex will have a 250,000 square metres central warehouse which will be operational in January 2016. In a second phase, scheduled for 2019, Mango will have 50,000 square metres adjacent to the central unit, which will add 200,000 additional square metres of warehousing in 2022.
This logistics platform, whose construction began in 2011, will be a global pioneer since it incorporates cutting edge technologies in logistics robotics that will enable Mango to handle 75,000 units per hour.
The company has two more logistics platforms in Barcelona, one in Palau de Plegamans and the other in Parets del Vallés, from which it distributes all over the world except the Asian market. Mango currently has more than 2,700 points of sale in 108 countries, and last year had a turnover of 1,846 million euros; of these revenues, 82% was from overseas.
Barcelona, due to its geographical position, its production network and extensive market continues to receive investment at a good pace. And the Port of Barcelona is the best example, with very significant investments to improve its facilities, docks and quays.
Specifically, between projects that are already underway and others that are about to begin, the overall volume of planned investment is about 700 million euros. Of this total, 60% corresponds to investments from the private sector, and the rest comes from the public administration, in a model of public-private partnership to keep the infrastructure in a leadership position in the Mediterranean and in Europe.
Diversification is one of the keys to the success of the Port of Barcelona in terms of investments received. In recent years, for example, the offices of Desigual have been built, the maritime station of Grimaldi, the energy platform of Meroil-Lukoil, and the BEST container terminal.
The new private projects being developed or soon to be launched are: the second phase of the BEST container terminal owned by the Asian firm Hutchison Port Holding; the new potash and salt cargo terminal owned by Iberpotash which will be made by the multinational ICL; the construction of the new cruise terminal by the American firm Carnival, which will invest about 25 million euros; the expansion of Marina Barcelona 92 (one of the most important mega-yacht maintenance and remodelling facilities in the world); the construction of Marina Vela next to hotel W, in which about 30 million euros will be invested; and the remodelling of Marina Port Vell.
The Israeli multinational ICL, parent company of Iberpotash, plans to invest over 100 million euros in a new terminal at the Port of Barcelona. This new infrastructure will enable large-tonnage ships to be loaded, with a firm commitment to the quality of rail logistics and shipping of potash and salt by Iberpotash, which involves the development of the so-called "Phoenix Plan" in the Catalan region of Bages.
The new terminal will be located in the vicinity of Álvarez de la Campa Dock, with a surface area of 7 hectares and 14 metres deep which will allow ships up to 60,000 tonnes to be loaded. In addition to the 100 million euro investment by the ICL group in the new terminal, the Port of Barcelona will invest approximately 10 million euros in reforming the sites for this infrastructure. These actions will enable Iberpotash to have 600 metres of berthing at the Port of Barcelona, a key infrastructure for channelling their exports.
ICL is one of the world leaders in fertilizers and specialty chemicals and the sixth largest producer of potash. Iberpotash is the only potash extraction company in Spain and it exports 75% of its production, mainly to countries in the European Union, Asia, and South America.
The Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group is developing the second phase of expansion of the BEST terminal, in which it will invest 150 million euros, while the Port of Barcelona will invest 1.8 million euros.
BEST is the first semi-automated terminal of the HPH Group which was opened in 2012, with an investment of 300 million euros. It is equipped with the latest technology in container terminals. The terminal has one of the most modern entry and exit door systems in Europe, and one of the largest railway facilities inside a maritime terminal in the Mediterranean, with 8 dual-width tracks (Iberian and European), daily connecting BEST to different destinations in Spain and Southern Europe.
Once the expansion works are completed in the first quarter of 2015, BEST will have 1,500 metres of waterfront (1000 metres currently) available, in a single alignment, which will be able to operate up to five container vessels simultaneously.
HPH, a subsidiary of the multinational Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), is the investor, builder and operator of some of the most important ports in the world. The network of port operations owned by HPH is composed of 52 ports in 26 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America and Oceania.
Mercadona invests 300 million euros in a new logistics centre of 100,000 square metres in Abrera (Barcelona), and Consum allocates 50 million euros to its new platform in the Barcelona Free Zone.
On the one hand, the Mercadona supply chain has invested 300 million euros in its logistics centre located in the town of Abrera (Barcelona). The facilities, covering a surface area of 110,000 square metres, have a cold unit and an attached unit for the production of fresh fish of 39,000 square metres; a space for dry product; and offices and day care for employees’ children; in addition to its own system of recycling and packaging, among others. This logistics centre is ready to supply 250 supermarkets in Catalonia, Aragon and La Rioja and has the capacity to store 75,000 pallets. The logistics centre is an intelligent warehouse, equipped with cutting edge technology that completely eliminates any handling by workers, increasing its productivity.
Moreover, the distribution cooperative Consum has built its new logistics platform in the Barcelona Free Zone, a project representing an investment of 50 million euros. The facility includes the General Merchandise Platform (dry food and non-food) and fruit and fish stations, and from here supplies the approximately 150 supermarkets Consum has in Catalonia. The Consum platform is located on a plot of 92,000 m2, 23,400 of which are allocated to the area of Food, Non-Food (which includes household cleaning goods, perfumery, and bazaar), and Reverse Logistics. The industrial unit has a High Turnover Automated Mechanism capable of handling 10,000 pallets a day and a Low Turnover one for unitary products, with over 3,000 references. The Logistics Warehouse, 13,600 square metres, hosts the Fruit and Fish stations and will be fully operational this year. With the new platform in the Free Zone, as the Fruit, Fish and Dry Product stations are integrated in the same facility, Consum can shorten delivery times to stores and improve the variety and rotation of products in the supermarket, which will benefit consumers. Consum is the largest cooperative in the Mediterranean area and has 610 supermarkets distributed throughout Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, Castile-La Mancha, Andalusia and Aragon.
The location of Molenbergnatie in the ZAL means the company can have greater flexibility with customs and proximity to the container terminal, key factors for companies operating with commodities such as coffee and cocoa.
The Belgian company Molenbergnatie has signed a contract with Cilsa to lease a warehouse of 3,700 square metres in the ZAL of the port of Barcelona. These facilities are equipped for storing coffee, besides having 9 loading docks, a ramp that allows truck entry, and an industrial unit with a height of 11 metres. The warehouse, equipped with the most advanced security measures, is located in the second phase of the logistics development in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat.
Molenbergnatie, with its European headquarters in Antwerp, has branches in Barcelona and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and has become one of the global leaders in supply chain management for coffee, cocoa and nuts.
The location of Molenbergnatie in the ZAL means the company can work with merchandise hundred percent maritime origin, and have greater flexibility with customs, and proximity to the container terminal, key factors for companies operating such commodities.
Besides, the logistics operator Arcese has rented four industrial units with a total of 10,559 square metres in the ZAL of the Port of Barcelona, and has a large number of doors equipped with levelling ramps at different heights to facilitate industrial activity.
Moreover, the logistics operator Aldisca has leased an area of 4,000 square metres in the Logistics Park of the Free Zone for the next five years, facilities where it has moved its activity to. With this operation, the Logistics Park of the Free Zone exceeds 94% occupancy.
The number of employees in the logistics industry began to grow in 2013, rising 1.6% and increasing by 8.8% during the first quarter of 2014.
The Logistics Observatory, a study promoted by the Department of Planning and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya and Cimalsa, is an annual survey that collects the Competitiveness Indicators of the Catalan Logistics System to monitor developments and give a true picture of the main market trends in logistics and transport in Catalonia.
The logistics sector in Catalonia includes transport of goods by road, sea and air; storage activities related to transportation; and postal and courier activities.
Following the trend of growth in the last four years, despite the reduction in the economic impact of freight transport, the economic weight of the logistics industry on the economy as a whole was above 4%. This fact is due to the increased importance of transport-related activities, which provide greater added value.
2013 marked the beginning of a turnaround in the economic context of Catalonia. During the period 2012-2013, the GDP in Catalonia grew 0.3%, breaking the downward trend followed in recent years.
Consequently, the transport and storage sector also led the revival of the labour market. Thus, during 2013, the number of employees in the logistics sector increased by 1.6% over the previous year. This percentage rose to 8.8% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period the previous year. These figures represent a turning point in the downward trend followed since 2008.
Turkish Airlines has placed a firm order for four additional Airbus A330-200 freighters that will be operated by its Turkish Cargo business.
This latest order will join the five A330-200Fs Turkish Cargo already operates, taking it to nine of the type. Airbus said the aircraft will help the carrier to “quickly meet the growing cargo market demand”.
The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.
“The A330-200F freighter aircraft have demonstrated outstanding operational reliability and performance for our cargo transport operations. It is with this in mind that we chose to expand our freighter fleet with more A330-200F,” Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil said.
Emirates are pleased to announce that Emirates will begin its second daily flight from Barcelona to Dubai on May 2, 2015.
The new service will be operated with a Boeing 777-200LR in a three-class configuration with a 266-seat capacity, thus complementing the company’s current successful daily A380 service. The new flight schedules are programmed to further facilitate connections to and from Barcelona to key cities in the Far East, Middle East, Australia and Africa via the hub of Emirates in Dubai.
Connections to Dubai from Barcelona will be as follows:
BCN DXB -EK 185 - 8.15h - 13.35h
BCN DXB - EK 186 - 15.50h-00.35h
BCN DXB - EK 187 - 15.45h - 21.00h
BCN DXB - EK 188 - 22.45h - 7.25h(+1)