Freight transport from the Spanish mainland to the Canary Islands reached a volume of 8.4 million tonnes at the end of 2021, according to data from the port authorities of Las Palmas and Tenerife as well as the AENA airport network analysed by the Rhenus Group, a logistics operator specialising in freight transport with the Canary Islands.
The results confirm that traffic is concentrated in the two main Canary Islands ports, which account for 91 percent of all import connections between the archipelago and the rest of Spain. Tenerife is ahead of Las Palmas as the top-ranking hub in this segment of activity – in which transit traffic is excluded – with 3.9 million tonnes, representing 46.7 percent of the total.
Las Palmas was the port of destination for 3.7 million tonnes from the rest of Spain, accounting for 44.2 percent of this trade volume.
Far behind the figures for these two ports are Arrecife in Lanzarote and Salinetas, also on the island of Gran Canaria, which have a three percent share each. Puerto del Rosario on Fuerteventura accounts for 1.95 percent of traffic, Santa Cruz de La Palma for 0.76 percent, and Arinaga, also on Gran Canaria, represents 0.18 percent.
Overall, the ports handle practically all the products imported from the mainland, which shows the importance of the maritime transport of goods with the Canary Islands. The only logistical alternative is air traffic, which barely accounts for 0.12 percent of this trade flow, with 10,318 tonnes concentrated in the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife Norte.
Andalusia, the leading market for the Canary Islands imports
The analysis by Rhenus also detected the main points of origin of Canary Islands imports from the Peninsula and showed the great prominence of the Andalusian ports. Algeciras is the leading port in this traffic, with 1.9 million tonnes, followed by Huelva, Seville, and Cádiz. Together, the four cities account for more than five million tonnes to the archipelago, representing up to 60 percent of the total volume.
The Canary Islands imports from the rest of Spain have increased in value
In economic terms, the value of Canary Islands imports from the rest of Spain increased by 23 percent in 2021, reaching 12,446 million euros, according to provisional data provided by the Canary Islands Institute of Statistics.
Andreu Gutiérrez, Country Sales Director Road of Rhenus Logistics Spain, talks about the contribution of logistics in this recovery and the competitiveness that maritime transport is providing, specifically with regard to imports or exports to the Canary Islands. “The great connectivity of the Las Palmas and Tenerife ports, the improvements in their operations and the efficiency provided by specialised logistics operators – with increasingly optimised transit times and flexible services for all types of goods – are factors that are driving new commercial opportunities with the Canary Islands,” the executive points out.
Andreu Gutiérrez stresses the importance of choosing a specialised operator in the Canary Islands when entrusting freight with this region. “Providing logistics solutions to such a unique territory as an archipelago requires experience, an in-house structure both at the origin and destination, customs clearance specialisation, and a wide range of transport services that guarantee connectivity with each of the islands,” says the Rhenus manager.