The impact of ongoing conflicts at Brazilian ports on maritime trade in the Río Plata region of South America has reportedly prompted shipping agents to propose the Port of Montevideo in Uruguay as the next hub for the area.
“The port of Montevideo is suffering seriously from the irregular situation at Brazilian ports,” Jimmy Rigby, general manager of Hamburg-Sud’s Uruguayan office told a local newspaper.
“In the last 12 weeks, 56 vessels that had scheduled calls at the Port of Montevideo had to be cancelled or re-routed because of the conflicts in Brazil (mainly at the Port of Santos),” added Mr Rigby.
Ships usually sail northbound from Montevideo to Rio Grande and Santos and finally Sepetiba before reaching their destination ports in the US or the EU.
However, the problems in Brazil is causing headaches for operators like Hamburg-Sud who handle primarily perishable products, such as fruit, beef and fish, which must be shipped during a specific timeframe to meet supermarket expiration dates for perishables.
“If fruit has a window of 30 days to reach market we have to coordinate with utmost precision not only the temperature in the containers but also transport time and delivery time once the merchandise is unloaded,” Mr Rigby said.
But if container facilities were expanded at the Port of Montevideo Mr Rigby claims it could “easily become a cargo concentration and distribution point for the area”.