Business booming at Portugal’s ports because of Red Sea crisis

 In News, Ports, Shipping

Portugal’s ports of Lisbon and Sines have seen an increase in business of 20% in the first two months of the year thanks to the crisis in the Red Sea.

Attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels — a Shia Islamist political and military terrorist organisation officially known as Ansar Allah that emerged from Yemen in the 1990s – has forced shipping companies to use the Cape of Good Hope between Asia and Europe and this is having a positive impact on business at Portugal’s ports at Lisbon and Sines.

In the first two months of this year both registered a growth of over 20% in shipped cargo on the same period in 2023 according to data from the Mobility and Transport Authority (AMT).

According to an interview in Negócios with Diogo Marecos, the director of Liscont, the concessionaire of the containers terminal at Alcântara, shipping companies are having to use the Atlantic route, which takes a month longer, because of these attacks in the Red Sea, and this benefits Portugal’s deep water ports that can harbour these large container ships.

Also, Portugal’s port companies have made significant investments to increase their capacity to take and process large sea container shipping. For example, the shipping container terminal in Alcântara (Lisbon) now has direct links to South and North America and is investing €124 million on increasing port capacity.

In Sines, the Sines Port Authority (PSA) is developing Phase III of an expansion project at its shipping container terminal (Terminal XXI) with investments of €412 million.

In the first two months of the year, in terms of cargo shipped, Sines grew 20.5% like-for-like, while Lisbon saw an increase of 20.1%, both having contributed to Portugal’s national ports having increased their business by 11% overall.

Looking at container traffic alone, Sines has seen a 39.2% increase to February and Lisbon 7.3% while container traffic to all Portugal’s ports increased 19.7%.