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Transit time for shipments to China reduced by 10 days

"The new port set to open next year near Lima offers promising prospects for fruit exporters"

The loading of the first ships at the new port of Chancay, located about 70 km north of Lima, is expected to happen at the beginning of next year. Cosco Shipping Ports, which manages more than 300 terminals in 38 ports, not only in China, but also in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), Greece (Piraeus), Belgium (Zeebrugge) and Spain (Valencia), is relying on its extensive experience to construct a new port that will connect Peru and its neighboring countries with the Asian market on a direct route with a transit time not exceeding 27 days, compared to the current 38-40 days that Peruvian products need to reach China. "At this time, only 10% of agro-exports are shipped to the Far East, mainly due to the long duration of maritime transport," says Alonso Guinand, head of the commercial and marketing department of Cosco Shipping Ports.

Alonso Guinand at the dock where refrigerated and fishing vessels will be unloaded.

Adapted to the world's largest container ships
The new port, which in this initial phase of construction will have four terminals, two of which will be equipped to receive the world's largest container ships, with a capacity of between 18,000 and 21,000 TEU, and which will have up to 960 reefer connections, will be part of the Chancay-Ancón-Callao Special Economic Zone, which includes the megaport of Chancay, the industrial park of Ancón, the port of Callao and the airport of Lima.

The project, entirely private in nature, with the Chinese company Cosco holding a 60% stake and Volcan Compañía Minera the remaining 40%, is being carried out by two subcontracted companies, both from China, one of which is responsible for the construction of the operational area and the entrance complex, and the other for the construction of a tunnel connecting these two areas. Seventy percent of the workers are Peruvian.

Automation and digitization
From the Pan-American Highway, four lanes – two for entry and two for exit – lead to the entrance complex, where two scanners will control the content of 100% of the export containers. Scanning takes less than a minute per truck, and the vehicles don't need to stop, only slow down. At other seaports, the customs clearance process and phytosanitary controls are carried out at points outside the port complex, but in Chancay, both the Customs Office and the National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (SENASA) have their facilities within the complex. This is an improvement, "as many things can happen between remote control points and the port area," says Alonso Guinand.

Also, other than a parking area with about 200 spaces for the drivers, there will hardly be any people coming close to the export goods, since the containers, both in the container yard and at the terminals, will be handled with autonomous vehicles, gantry cranes on lateral loading rails, and STS cranes operated remotely from the control tower, as explained by the head of the commercial and marketing department of Cosco Shipping Ports. Electricity is supplied by renewable energy sources.

The port of Chancay in its first phase: to the left is the bulk terminal, in the middle two terminals for container ships, and to the right the terminal for refrigerated and fishing vessels.

Construction in four phases
The construction of the port will be carried out in four phases. Once completed, there will be eleven terminals for container ships and four multipurpose terminals. The fourth phase is expected to be completed approximately 15-20 years from now, depending on demand and loaded volumes, but also on the improvements in the connections with the productive areas and destination markets in neighboring countries. The head of the commercial department says that the road connection with the western part of Brazil, an important area for the production of soy, rice and meat, needs to be improved, especially the section in Brazilian territory, to facilitate more agile and smooth traffic towards this new logistics hub on the west side of South America. The Brazilian producing sector, which today needs about 50-55 days for partly frozen goods to reach the Far East, could see the transit time reduced to just 27 days of sea transport, plus three days by road to the port of Chancay.

A tunnel under the city connects the entrance complex with the operational area of the new port.

Feeder services from the north of Peru
Most of the containers intended for China are currently loaded at the port of Callao, very close to Lima, but where they do not have a direct route to Asia. For the fruits produced in the north of Peru, as well as Ecuador, Colombia or Chile, feeder services connecting different points with the port of Chancay are planned for the future. According to the marketing director, the share of fruits and vegetables in the total volume of goods loaded at the new port of Chancay could reach 30%. "Raw materials from the mining sector will not be loaded in bulk, but in containers."

The cranes will be installed here. Chinese president Xi Jinping will inaugurate the terminal next year.

The WSA3 service, which connects various ports in China to ports in Mexico, Peru and Chile, will move its current stop at the port of Callao to Chancay. This will be complemented by a new direct service between the port of Chancay and Shanghai with one arrival per week. The project was conceived in 2009 and construction started in 2018. A total of about 3.6 billion dollars will be invested in the four phases.

Image of the port under construction at the end of April 2024.

For more information:
Alonso Guinand (Commercial & Marketing Manager)
COSCO Shipping Ports Chancay Peru S.A.
Av. Manuel Olguín 375
Surco, Lima. Peru
Tel.: +511 3213060
Tel.: +51 905 454 668
Email: [email protected]

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