Ecuador: Containerized exports of bananas from El Oro begin to increase

The Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar (APPB) has begun to increase containerization and is working on a technological control system so as to attract the interest of the largest shipping companies. In 2017, 89,338 TEU containers were shipped out through this port and, up until August 2018, 76,999 TEU (equivalent to 20 feet) containers were exported; while during the administration of APPB, only 62,537 TEU containers were shipped out through this port.

According to David Mejia, the manager of APPB, the port has been improving its competitiveness thanks to Yilport because, since they are a private company, they can lower costs; something that the Port State can't do because the country would lose money.

According to the Port Administration, containerization is causing major shipping companies such as Maersk to take an interest in reaching the port from Machala with a significant container load.

The port also wants to improve its control system to become more competitive by using technology to avoid contamination in the cargo or possible contraband.

Currently, controls in the port are being carried out manually by the anti-narcotics personnel, who inspect the fruit that will be shipped out through Puerto Bolivar with lanterns and dogs.

The scanner that was placed inside the port facilities was removed because it's scope wasn't strong enough to conduct the control required in this terminal.

According to David Mejia, the rates or fees have been fundamental to position the second most important port in Ecuador. The cold storage fee is one of the most commonly paid fees in the containerization service. Yilport had to readjust its fees for loose boxes, as this was an unknown market for them. Only 15 to 20% of the 112 fees there are used; another 12% are for general cargo services, which includes import loads (bovine, vehicles, plastic), and 8% is for the bulk cargo. This 8% fee is the most important fee for the port authority, because it is directly related to the shipments of bananas, which they must regulate, negotiate, and attend, stated the head of the Port Authority of the Port of Bolivar.



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