+27 84 569 0188
Follow us Now
The Port Of Bilbao

Port Of Bilbao – In A Prize Winning City

The Port of Bilbao, found in the Bay of Biscany in the Basque region of Spain, has an interesting history, dating back 700 years. Whilst researching for this topic, we found there to be a huge amount of information on the history of the port leading up to it’s modern day success, so we thought we’d summarise it into one short text, and then share some interesting facts with you :

The Port Of BilbaoOver 700 years ago the port was located a few steps from the Old City, in an area that is today called the Arenal. Back then, boats arrived as far as San Anton Church situated just at the entrance to the walls that protected the town of Bilbao, up the Nervion River. The Port of Bilbao was the outlet to Europe for the goods from the interior, and the entry for goods from the Atlantic sea face and the South American colonies.


As the port became busier, and larger ships were trying to navigate the river, it became  necessary to accommodate these vessels in a more suitable location, and so a  port was built outside of the old city in 1902 and this ultimately led to the final move of the Old City port facilities in the 1970s to its current location.

Now, the modern Port of Bilbao easily earns the term “first class commercial port” and it currently links over 200 regular maritime services with 800 ports worldwide.


Here are some more interesting facts:

  • The Port moves over 40 million tons of cargo annually, receives over 80,000 passengers, and contributes more than half a million Euros to the Basque region GDP annually.
  • The most abundant raw material found in the Bay of Biscan is Iron and its extraction has been legally regulated in the area since the year 1526. Until the mid 19th Century, extracted ore was exported around Europe, but in the last half of the 19th Century, the region began to develop the ironworks industry. The area was ideally position then to become a powerful ironworks producer during World War 1 and to create a prominent shipbuilding industry for the area.The Port Of Bilbao
  • The Port of Bilbao boasts a natural draft of up to 32m, excellent land connections, and railway connections to its dry dock network. When added to it’s ideal geographical location, this makes it one of the most important transport and logistics centers in the European Atlantic Arc.
  • Since 1992, the year in which the Outer Abra Extension works commenced, the Port Authority of Bilbao has invested 1,000 million euros to reclaim more than two million square metres of land surfaces and 4.6 kilometres of piers from the sea.
  • According to the Port Authority Website Investment by the Port Authority of Bilbao in 2022 amounted to EUR 34.6 million, with planned investment figures of EUR 43.6 million in 2023. Prominent among these plans, is the creation of land, spurred on by demand from the business world to locate their premises inside the port , as well as to expand existing facilities in the port.
  • The Port Of Bilbao
  • Extension works on the AZ1 Dock will provide 50,000 m² of new land and a 251-metre berthing line. The paving work were put to tender and will be completed by the end of 2023.
  • Bilbao is an award winning city: On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore. It was handed out in June 2010, and was considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism.



  • On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was then chosen as the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism.

The Port of Bilbao is fascinating, and we love working there!

For all your service requirements at the Port of Bilbao, feel free to contact us!


Port Layout


Geographical Location
The Port of Bilbao – Geographical Location


Share Article