Latin American box traffic in decline


The latest port ranking table published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) shows that container traffic in 2016 dropped by 0.9%, reinforcing the overall negative trend in recent years.

Regional traffic fell by an average of 6% in 2012, 1.3% in 2013, 2.4% in 2014, and 2.5% in 2015.

The downturn in 2016 was due to negative growth mainly in five countries: Brazil (-4.4%), Panama (-9.1%), Colombia (-3.6%), Argentina (-6.1%) and the Bahamas (-14.3%).

Other countries help mitigate the overall downturn by posting positive growth. These were Mexico (3.2%), Chile (4.8%), Peru (8.4%), Ecuador (4.5%), the Dominican Republic (8.3%), Guatemala (8.8%), Costa Rica (7.3%) and Uruguay (9.5%).

Overall traffic in the region amounted to 47.5m teu for 2016, with the top 40 ports accounting for 90% of total throughput. A further 100 ports handled the remaining 4.4m teu.

South American East Coast ports reported a 3.7% decrease, compared with just 0.7% in 2015, due mostly to declining traffic in Brazil and Argentina. In contrast, those on the West Coast reported an increase of 4.5%, mainly thanks to ports in Chile, Peru and Ecuador. Central America turned positive growth of 4.5% in 2015 to negative growth of 3.5% last year, mostly due to a 9.1% drop in Panama.

Source: Port Strategy

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