As Simfruit recently reported, the logistics situation is extremely complex for the country's exports, especially its fresh fruit exports.
The president of ASOEX, Ronald Bown, said the complexity was due to the pandemic, which has produced inexplicable and disproportionate increases in the cost of freight, congestion in ports, lack of port operators in Chile, refrigerated containers, drivers, and refrigerated trucks, among other issues.
In addition, Bown said, there have been some COVID cases detected among the crew of some ships, which has forced the ships to remain in the Bay of Valparaiso awaiting for the health authorities to take action while they carry out their respective quarantines.
In this regard, it is important to note that yesterday MSC confirmed the detection of positive COVID cases on the Cape Kortia container ship, coming from the Port of Callado, which was quarantined in the Bay of Valparaiso, and thus is unable to download or upload cargo.
The Guayaquil Express, MSC Baika, and MSC Lauren vessels, which were destined for the Port of San Antonio, also have presented COVID cases so are unable to load products and unload empty containers, which are extremely necessary for the sector, as there is a lack of them.
“ASOEX has expressed its concern. Ships can't carry out their operations, which seriously affects their itineraries and, consequently, the timely arrival of export products to foreign markets. The cost of the process increases, the logistical situation becomes very complex and exporters are unable to fulfill, in form and time, the commitments contracted in the destination markets,” he stated.
"In addition, the port authority of the Port of San Antonio is sending the ships to the Port of Valparaiso to carry out the COVID tests, thus incorporating further delays in the logistics process. We have informed our authorities of this complex matter so that they can implement protocols that allow the operation of ships while safeguarding the health of port operators and workers," Bown stated.
“There have been some relaxations to address specific cases, but a permanent protocol is required to reconcile sanitary regulations and the operation of ships, incorporating, for example, aspects of the Ministry of Health's new Coronavirus Management Plan in Chile for the New Omicron Variant.”