Brazil’s Ports Are 50 Years Behind The Times

March 20, 2024
Brazil’s Ports Are 50 Years Behind The Times

Brazil’s President – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) – has embarked on a new drive to put the nation’s ports and terminals into private hands this month, following a damaging report that suggested they were 50 years behind the times.

The working group report pointed out major shortcomings in the port network which have a negative impact on the country’s international trade, highlighting long waiting times for docking of five days or more, along with lengthy customs clearance times and excessive costs.

When comparing against US processes, traffic systems, and automation, Brazil’s ports were reported to have suffered more than half a century of delay in modernisation. The report concluded “The relative national delay in implementing major innovations already established in the maritime and port industry is reflected in higher logistical and operational costs, longer transit times, lower operational safety and direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”

The port of Santos, which handles 30% of Brazil’s international trade, has been the subject of debate for years with little action. Former President – Jair Bolsonaro – struggled to push privatisation through in 2022 and the concept was called off as recently as January of this year.

However, concessions for four terminals and one box facility in Santos, are now up for auction this month, and a 25-year lease, worth $583m, is planned for the container port of Itajai this year.

 

 

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