Brazil’s Northern Arc ports – Practical Guidance

04/07/2019 - 7:14 | Author: Proinde

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Recent years have witnessed progressive competitiveness of Brazilian commodities, mainly soya beans and corn (maize), which exports have exceeded those of traditional grain producers, such as the United States and Argentina, making Brazil the world’s largest exporter of these agricultural products.

Successive record crops and the increasing demands of the consumer markets, principally China, have led to increasing bottlenecks in the already overburdened grain ports in the South and Southeast regions, resulting in higher transportation costs and longer journeys from production areas, leading exporters to seek more viable logistics alternatives elsewhere in Brazil.

The federal administration inaugurated last January is committed to unleashing projects to improve the national transport infrastructure and streamline procedures and requirements for the participation of the private section in new logistics ventures in the country. Major grain producers and traders are investing heavily in cargo handling facilities and port terminals to improve the flow of commodities to overseas ports. The bulk of these investments are being made in ports across the still-in-development in the northern part of the country, more precisely in the region known as Arco Norte (Northern Arc, in Portuguese), which covers the ports in the North and Northeast regions that are closer to large producing areas in central Brazil and are becoming a competitive alternative for exports to countries in the Northern Hemisphere and Asia via the Panama Canal.

Together with the rising demand for mineral products, such as the ores mined in the Amazon, the consolidation of the Northern Arc as one of the main grain export gateways has led to an unprecedented surge in the number of barges and oceangoing vessels crossing the many rivers that form this region, with successive records of port handling and exports.

Due to the extensive geographic reach of that region and the logistical challenges its vastness imposes, the resources available, navigational hazards, safety concerns, and cargo risks are still unknown for many shipowners, charterers and marine insurers who have business opportunities in that somewhat uncharted territory.

Our objective with the attached guide is to provide a practical overview of the main ports of Brazil’s Northern Arc, the infrastructure and resources available, regional peculiarities, cargo risks, safety and security, rules governing navigation and port operations in the inland waterways and loss prevention recommendations.

As it is a huge area in constant development and river conditions change drastically all the time, much of the information here may become out of date quickly. While we strive to keep an up-to-date version of this publication available in this website, we recommend that the data provided be verified and validated by the local shipping agent or the maritime or port authority concerned before the vessel arrives at the Northern Arc.

We hope our clients and associates find this guide to be a useful source of practical information and welcome your feedback for updates and improvements.

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