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May 26, 2014

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28 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MAY 26.2014 TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS BARCELONA'S LITTLE SECRET: SEAFOOD IMPORTS BARCELONA'S RESTAURANTS, WHICH serve up lots of Catalan seafood dishes, have a little secret: Much of that seafood, which diners assumed to be from the Mediterranean, is imported, shipped as air freight. The truth behind the seafood's source was unveiled during an April visit to one of the common- user cargo terminals at Barcelona Airport: One of the refrigerated cold storage rooms was stacked to the ceiling with cartons of seafood from South Africa. Two other cold storage rooms were equally crammed with cartons of locally pro- duced pharmaceuticals heading for Guatemala and Uruguay. The sleek Barcelona Airport is a hub for international air cargo activity. Pharmaceuticals, textiles and foodstuffs are some of the products produced for export by plants in Catalonia, the autonomous Spanish region surrounding Barcelona. The airport's fi ve air cargo terminals handled 100,297 metric tons of cargo last year, up 3.9 percent year-over-year, accounting for almost 16 percent of Spain's total air cargo market. Three of those terminals are common-user terminals, and two are operated by FedEx and UPS. The Spanish clothing manufacturers that are heavy users of the airport's fi ve air cargo ter- minals include Inditex, which owns Zara, Mango and Desigual. Pharmaceutical shippers include Grifols, Almirall and Boehringer. Nissan also ships automotive parts through the airport. "The airport is more focused on Asia, where we have an opportunity to grow, than Madrid, which focuses on Latin America," said Mario Rubert, manager of economy, enterprise and employment for the Barcelona City Council. The region's export industries get a lot of help from their friends in Barcelona's city govern- ment, the airport and the Port of Barcelona, which all work together in different industry councils to land services by air cargo and ocean shipping lines that support their distribution needs. "Singapore Airlines has been here for years," Rubert said, "and now Air China is going to launch a new fl ight to Beijing." — Peter T. Leach Barcelona's fi ve air cargo terminals handled 100,297 metric tons of cargo last year, up 3.9 percent year- over-year, accounting for almost 16 percent of Spain's total air cargo market. TOP 100 IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS BARCELONA'S LITTLE SECRET: SEAFOOD IMPORTS Europe trade as a growing number of Asian companies establish their European head- quarters in this very liveable city. "We have more Japanese companies investing here than any other European city after Dussel- dorf," Rubert said. The Barcelona City Council has set up advisory boards to work with various industry segments to enhance the region's logistics ties. SEAT benefited from the work being done by the city's auto industry council with the Port of Barcelona, which handles 34 percent of its exports, accord- ing to Manuel Medina, director of logistics distribution. These efforts bore fruit in 2012 when South Korean car carrier Eukor started calling at the port with a new service that transports exports of the Audi Q3 SUV model to China. SEAT uses "K" Line to export other models to Mexico from Barce- lona and Grimaldi for its exports of SEAT models to South America, which are carried on railroads to the Atlantic Port of Bilbao. Rail access to the port and the rest of Europe is the main mode SEAT uses for shipping the four car models it makes at the Martorell plant. It also ships 200 truck- loads of cars each day to the rest of Spain and throughout Europe with an average of 8 ½ cars on each truck. Each car leaving the plant bears a passive RFID plant on one of its windows that identifi es the car and its destination. An RFID reader scans the tag and determines whether it's loaded on the right train bound for the right destination. Medina said at all of the plants, logistics is outsourced to third-party logistics pro- viders, which supply the drivers to park the cars that leave the plant and load them on the trains or the trucks that serve the plant. In addition to SEAT exports, Barcelona's two automobile terminals handle imports and exports for plants operated in Spain by Nissan, Opel, Renault, Mercedes, PSA, Peugeot and other Volkswagen brands. As European growth began to rebound in the fi rst quarter of 2014, the port's auto imports increased 35 percent to 26,108 units. Auto exports in the fi rst quarter totaled 103,167 cars, up 7.5 percent year-over-year. JOC Contact Peter Leach at and follow him on Twitter: @petertleach.

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