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Association of Port Docking Companies of Barcelona


What is a Stevedoring Company?

The stevedoring company is in charge of carrying out the port operations of merchandise handling.

Generally, it is the holder of an administrative concession granted by the corresponding Port Authority, which empowers it to use, exclusively, a space located on the edge of the dock where it performs its work.

Being the operator of a certain terminal, it is sometimes called interchangeably “port terminal“.

What are your roles and responsibilities?

The main merchandise handling operations are the following:

· Reception
· Loadin
· Stowage
· Unload
· Descarga
· Delivery

The stevedoring company performs many other operations, in addition to the six main ones mentioned, such as:

  • Empty and fill containers
  • Merchandise Classification
  • Horizontal movements to position in inspection area

In the case of regular shipping lines, it is the shipowner who decides to which terminal the operations of loading / unloading their ships will be carried out , depending on their interests and the law of supply and demand.

For this reason, having opted for a certain shipowner, the importer / exporter is obliged to pick up / direct their cargo at the terminal that the shipowner has decided.

Docking companies operating in the Port of Barcelona are part of:


Ronda del Port 594, 1ª Planta 08039 Barcelona
Tel. 93 442 88 24

The membership of this Association is voluntary , so it may be the case that certain companies are not part of it.

For the exercise of their activities, stevedoring companies have a minimum staff in a situation of common labor relationship that ensures the perfect functioning of the basic structure of the company. However, the special characteristics of the port operations (marked by the irregularity in the arrival of the ships in the port), make a company permanently unable to have its specialized payroll and sufficient to attend the points of work that occur, for the expenses that this would entail would be impossible to assume.

For all this, and to cover the personnel needs of the stevedoring companies (which fluctuate depending on whether or not the work of loading / unloading the ship and handling the merchandise must be carried out and depending on of the volume of work to be carried out) these have a shared “personnel department” – the Estibarna-CPE entity that has adequate and specialized personnel to carry out the port work, the which will go to the different terminals if required by the stevedoring companies, depending on the needs of each day.

The existence of Estibarna-CPE therefore responds to reasons of economy of scale and its constitution has led to a considerable improvement in the rationalization of port works.

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