Port.Today had a great pleasure to attend the latest competition last Friday, 9 March 2018. The unique event gathered about 7,000 enthusiastic participants from more than 200 companies whose work pivots around the port of Valencia. Maersk, MSC, ARKAS Spain, COSCO, CEVA Logistics, GEODIS, Hoegh Autoliners, BOLUDA, Kalmar, Konecranes Iberica, to name just a few among the cheerful, flamboyant crowd of professionals from various shipping lines, equipment providers, logistic and legal companies, banks and customs offices. And of course, the terminal operators: Noatum Terminal, MSC Terminal Valencia and APM Terminal Valencia TCV, operating the three large container terminals of the port, and Valencia Terminal Europa – the Ro-Ro terminal.
The International Paella Contest among logistics companies is organized by the Spanish logistics daily Diario del Puerto and the local community Falla Dr. J.J. Domine-Port as part of the grand Valencian festival Las Fallas, that every March fills the city with rumble of firecracks (“mascletas”), giant colourful figures (“ninots”), flowers and exquisite traditional costumes of “falleras”, lights and fireworks at night and of course with lots of music, fun and unforgettable emotions.
As a tribute to this exciting festival, the paella competition started with a round of cracking “mascletas” that signaled the official opening of the event, after which the large esplanade of the former El Grao railway station near the port was all filled with smoke of fires under 484 paellas that were being cooked by the participants. This number marked the absolute record for the 29 years of the contest. At the end, the jury awarded 11 companies, giving the special prize to Urbamar Levante Residious.