Colombia Shipping Report Q1 2014 - New Study Released

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Dec 13 2013

BMI forecasts growth across the board at Colombian ports in 2014, as the facilities benefit from rising private consumption levels in the Latin American country. Growth over the medium term will be supported by this and the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, which would see more, and larger, vessels calling at the country's ports. This possibility has piqued the interest of international container terminal operators such as International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI). Throughput volumes will also be supported by the growing dry bulk export story, in particular coal.

Headline Industry Data

* The Port of Cartagena will see total tonnage volume increase by 9.8% to 18.55mn tonnes in 2014, and will average growth of 12.3% to 2018.
* Container traffic at Cartagena will grow by 11.1% to 2.18mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014.
* Volume at the Pacific port of Buenaventura will rise by 2.4% to 10.14mn tonnes, while container traffic will rise 3.7% to reach 579,354 TEUs.

Full Report Details at

Key Industry Trends

Buenaventura Attracting Major Players: Two major international container port operators are joining forces in Colombia, as PSA International invests in ICTSI's facility at the port of Buenaventura. Given the strong growth outlook for the port, both in 2014 and over the medium term, BMI is unsurprised that PSA is looking to increase its exposure to Latin America through this investment. Channel Deepening Priority For Buenaventura: With the coming expansion of the Panama Canal, the Colombian port of Buenaventura has identified the need to deepen its channel as a priority, in order to ensure that it is capable of handling the larger ships that are expected to ply the waters in the wake of the widening of the canal's locks.

Santa Marta Receives Ecoport Status From Lloyd's Register: Lloyd's Register has certified the Colombian port of Santa Marta as the world's first non-European ecoport. The status was awarded by the European Foundation ECO SLC. The status of ecoport is awarded to ports after they complete a self-diagnosis-method checklist.

Key Risks To Outlook

For the medium term, the main risk to our positive outlook for Colombia remains the possibility of a hard landing for China; we expect China to take up the shortfall as US imports of Colombian coal decrease. A severe slowdown in China would kill Chinese demand for raw materials such as iron ore and coal, leaving Colombia to look elsewhere for an export market. We have recently revised up our growth outlook for the Asian giant, yet we believe that the can is being kicked down the road and that a hard landing is still distinctly possible.

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