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Mega containerships pose challenge to ferry crossings at the Port of Santos

The ferry crossing system between Santos and Guarujá, on the south coast of São Paulo, is chaotic as it is. The mega containership APL Yangshan, 347 meters long and 45.2 meters wide, which left the Port of Santos on Nov 09, brought up even more worrying factors.

Specialists and the Santos Port Authority predict that more vessels as big as this, or even larger, will stop at the port more frequently in the coming months. Ships passing through Santos are typically 225 meters long.

In October, the Maltese-flagged vessel CMA CGM Vela, also measuring 347 meters, halted port activities for almost three hours and mobilized six tugboats to dock on the port’s left bank – on the Guarujá side.

The activity halt caused by the Singapore-flagged ship on Tuesday (8) occurred between 1:30 and 3 p.m., as determined by the Port Authority and the Brazilian Navy following Ordinance 74/2021. The activities stopped on Wednesday (9) from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

“[The arrival of these ships] had long been envisaged, and the port has prepared for it, even though the pandemic caused these plans to be postponed a little. Although we cannot pinpoint the frequency, we know that these operations will grow more common depending on the global flow of trade,” stated Bruno Stupello, SPA’s Business Development Director.

“These mega containerships are common in the northern hemisphere, but they are coming southward as well. It is a market trend that shipowners start to adopt not only on east-west services between Asia and the USA but also on north-south routes,” he said.

In consonance with this thesis, at the beginning of the month, the port of Rio Grande, in southern Brazil, received the Asian freighter One Amazon, 330 meters long, which left Busan, South Korea.

According to the latest development and zoning plan for the port of Santos, cargo throughput is expected to increase by almost 50% over the next 20 years by adding over 67.9 million tonnes, jumping to 214.9 million tonnes of total demand.

Source: Folha de S.Paulo

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