This article presents the historical development of Barcelona’s port from the end of the Napoleonic wars to the 1960s. The Author’s attention is focused on goods traffic trends with specific reference to the size, value and composition of cargo flows, and to passenger traffic. Besides, the article dwells on the upgrading of the port’s berthing infrastructure and commercial facilities. During the peak years of Catalan industrialisation (1840-1860), the port was simply following the growing demands from its hinterland. The gigantic works promoted by the Junta de Obras del Puerto and deployed between 1870 and 1913 enabled the port of Barcelona to anticipate the growing demand for maritime commercial services of a mature industrial economy. After World War I, and up to 1960, the regional economy was fully serviced by the port. Only by 1960, when the autarchic era came to an end, a pressing need for port development was again acutely felt.