Damaged equipment and logistical problems carried over from past administrations and an order to reinstate several employees who were dismissed, are just some of the situations not yet resolved by the port operator of Puerto Cortes, Honduras.
Coupled with another combination of operational factors, this is delaying work of the ENP (National Port Authority) affecting importers, exporters, shipping companies and the institution itself.
The Executive Director of Ahcorena (Honduran Association of Shipping Company Representatives and Shipowners) Oscar Girón, considered that for the ENP it is urgent to find a solution.
“The situation of the Port is critical and this is reflected in poor performance. Now the port has declined tremendously, since operations with the use of specialized equipment, such as port cranes and mobile cranes, are not giving the necessary operational results, to such an extent that from 25 moves (loading and unloading of containers) an hour, it has dropped to 14 per hour, which means an additional cost for both the exporter and importer and well as for the shipping company”, he said.
Giròn emphasized the direct effects of the current problems facing the Port.
“The port is less competitive and that will bring serious consequences to the economy. Last week nearly 145 containers of coffee and sugar were not exported to Europe, because the vessel could not lose its itinerary in other ports and this implies that the exporter will not deliver his product, while importers have problems affecting the maquiladora sector, among others, that they can not get their raw material to generate their output from their plants.”
The Ahcorena President explained that the economic loss and impact is hitting pockets and also those of the ENP.
“The Port fails to receive $250,000 per month by failing to use its equipment and, of course, that brings a critical situation for the country. Guatemala has only 50% of our operation and has five mobile cranes, while we only have two and they are manually operated.”
In a statement released by the Ahcorena, it was disclosed that the problems have increased operating costs. “All this translates into additional costs between $15,000 and $25,000 per day for port users and untold losses for delay in delivery of goods to end customers.”
This post is also available in: Spanish