In this paper we address how ports can generate value for society, in an era of important changes in the environment ports operate in. First, we describe in general terms the various components of a port complex: a transport hub, a logistics cluster, a manufacturing complex and a tourism & leisure site. Next, we briefly describe some disruptive changes that deeply affect the ports industry. In the third section we discuss the implications of these changes for the way ports create value for society. In this section we provide strategic options for Barcelona’s port complex. Fourth, we discuss the implications of the changing landscape in the ports industry for the governance and business model of Port of Barcelona, the developer of Barcelona’s port complex.