The strongest growth was in the intermodal sector, which saw a 42.8% increase in volumes compared with the first half of 2013, while steel traffic rose by 27.7% and chemicals 24.6%.

CP Carga says its immediate priority is to maintain this trajectory with the aim of carrying 9.3 million tonnes, the highest annual volume since the company was established in 2009.

The Portuguese government is planning to privatise CP Carga, although the sell-off has been repeatedly deferred.