Colombia’s Caribbean city of Cartagena is undergoing massive infrastructure and technology developments in a bid to become one of the top 30 global mega-ports by 2017.
The almost $1 billion upgrade will develop in two stages with an initial goal set to double the port’s capacity by the end of this year.
The Cartagena Port Authority’s planned developments will enable the port to take up to five million containers, placing its capacity on a level with large U.S. ports such as Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York by 2017.
The Port Authority also aims to improve transport links from inland Colombia with plans to ship containers to Cartagena from the river port of Gamarra via the Magdalena river.
Colombian producers are battling against high inland freight transport costs, due both to geographical bottlenecks and the high cost of diesel fuel. The challenges these costs present have been well documented in relation to Colombia’s automotive industry.
Exports are also suffering as a result of the strengthening Colombian peso, which makes it harder for Colombian producers to compete in the international market.
In February, export rates declined by 6.6% compared to the same month in 2012.
Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas declared in February that the strengthening peso was key to Colombia’s economic struggle. The central bank has stepped up rate cuts and its policy of dollar buying in the domestic market in order to tame the peso and keep Colombia’s exports attractive.
- Cartagena avanza para convertirse en un megapuerto (El Espectador)
- Cartagena Aims to Be a Global Megaport by 2017 (Latin American Herald Tribune)
- Movimiento de carga contenerizada (SPRC)