The top ranking ports for container movement retain their places for 2012, according to preliminary statistics of the Economic Council for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) showing the good performance of Latin American economies.
The first position on this ECLAC table has been occupied by the ports of Colon (Manzanillo, Cristobal and Colon Container Terminal) for several years and this year it appears that, despite the problems of congestion and a strike in Balboa and Cristobal, they are keeping first place. Up until the third quarter they moved 3,001,149 teus, retaining their leadership.
It appears that remaining in second position are the Pacific Panamanian ports of Balboa and PSA International (Rodman), which, up until the third quarter, moved 2,747,605 TEUs.
In third place is the largest port in Brazil, Santos, which up until October, 2012, had moved 2,626,672 TEUs, an increase of 5.09%, according to official data.
The fourth and fifth positions at the end of 2012 remained pretty tightly contested between Manzanillo, Mexico, and Cartagena, Colombia. The Mexican port, according to figures up until the third quarter of 2012, handled 1,630,187 TEUs for a term growth of 11.7% versus the previous year.
Meanwhile, Cartagena, Colombia, over the first half of this year stood at the # 5 ranking of ECLAC, growing by around 19%, according to the marketing director of the Regional Port Society of Cartagena, Giovanni Benedetti, who said that the port has had five years growing at double digits. The executive expects to close 2012 with 2.3 million TEUs handled.
The robust growth of Cartagena, in the words of Benedetti, is due to the good performance of the Colombian economy, while it is also the nearest port terminal to Venezuela and, with the problems of the neighboring country, it has become a Venezuelan transit port. Another reason for its growth, he says, is due to the revamping of different routes that were formerly calling in Jamaica and Caucedo.
The SPRC marketing director denied that he has taken cargo from Panamanian ports, but said some lines have chosen to restructure their shipping delivery services, basing them in Cartagena rather than in Panama.
The executive argues that Cartagena is a port for north/south traffic, while Panama handles large east/west traffic.
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