Sandbanks preventing ships from entering Barranquilla are causing Colombia’s main maritime port losses of at least $900,000, several Colombian media reported Monday.
Two ships have run aground on sandbanks near the entrance to the Caribbean port, forcing at least between four and six other cargo ships to wait for them to be freed before being able to unload. Without docking ships, Barranquilla port is losing almost a million dollars.
El Heraldo newspaper from Barranquilla reported, that each ship represents approximately $150,000 income for the Port Authority of Barranquilla, if each boat carries 27,500 tons valued at $6 each.
With between four and six boats waiting unable to dock, the Port Authority is losing between $600,000 and $900,000. This figure does not include losses to port-related industries.
According to Cartagena newspaper El Universal, Greek ship “Chirios Wind” has been stuck for four days while “Magnum Power” has spent 10 days on a sand bank – four tugs have failed to refloat it.
This has lead to the manager of the Port Authority of Barranquilla Luis Fernando Arteta declaring an emergency and calling for dredgers to be contracted to get rid of the sand banks that have formed at entrance of the port.
Arteta said “Many ships have been diverted to other ports. The first thing we have to do is free the two boats as soon as possible. The situation is serious because we have six ships that have not been able to enter and four that have not been able to leave the docks and 150,000 tons of cargo back-logged.”
Users of the port are complaining and saying that if the problem is not resolved they will be forced to start using other ports.