In the midst of a global logistics crisis, it made many products scarce and one of its factors global inflation, The terminals of the Port of Cartagena and Buenaventura, through which more than a third of the country’s traffic of this type and 55.6 percent of imported goods move, were ranked in 2021 among the best ports in the world.
The ranking, which was included in the latest Global Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global’s Market Intelligence Unit, which measured 370 ports worldwide, placed the two terminals among the top 20 ports last year.
The arrangement took into account the length of time ships would have to remain in port to complete workloads in 2021, a period when ports experienced unprecedented traffic after restarting and supply chains around the world experienced disruptions.
Thus according to the measurement which was based on the productivity of each plant, The port of Cartagena is ranked 12th, becoming the best in Latin America and the Caribbeannot only terminals like Balboa in Panama, but others like Barcelona (Spain) and Virginia, in the United States, among others.
According to the ranking, this station scored 152.9 points from an administrative or managerial perspective, while the first place, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, got 217.9 points.
According to the document, for the last year’s measurement, two different methodological approaches were used, one administrative or technical, and the other statistical, using factor analysis, in an effort to ensure that the container port’s performance rating is as reflected as possible. Port performance, while also being statistically robust.
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for this part, The Port of Buenaventura, responsible for the Regional Ports Association of Buenaventura, ranked 20 of the world under the first approach, managerial, with a total of 124.4 points.
With these results, the two terminals were positioned as leaders in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, with the next terminal in the region, Port Coronel, in Chile, achieving a score of 100.2 points, while the terminals qualified from Imbituba in Brazil and Balboa in Panama. With a score of 83 and 67.8 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, when looking at the statistical approach, the port of Cartagena ranked 15th, with an index of 61.9, while the port of Buenaventura ranked 23, with an index of 53, in a ranking also led by King Abdullah Port, with an index of 93.3.
Economist and former Finance Minister Rudolf Homes explains that, in general, the port must be distinguished by its equipment and cargo handling capacity, something that the Cartagena and Buenaventura terminals have.
This is due to the fact that the Heroica station has the distinction of being the first or one of the first three in the Caribbean, which competes with Panama, in the midst of a huge advantage enjoyed by Colombia, and that the closest port to Panama is Cartagena and in the Pacific Ocean is Buenaventura, because the isthmus is The nerve center of the global merchandise trade.
Another factor in favor of these two ports, and in general for the country, he adds, is that the ports of Colombia, for example, have much more domestic cargo than the ports of small islands such as Santo Domingo or Cuba.
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“Mexico has more than us,” he adds, “but Mexico is far away, and that’s a very important component of both exports and imports.”
Similarly, according to the expert, the tariffs imposed by Colombia, both in Cartagena and Buenaventura, are lower than those in Panama, since labor costs in this country are higher for various reasons and this gives the Colombian ports an advantage.
According to Hommes, the main focus of the classification of the World Bank is its capacity and management, because the investments made in the two ports are huge, since, for example, in Buenaventura, they have invested in recent years $400 million, they have cranes at full capacity and there is an operations team responsible for Productivity, which is measured by the amount of loading per hour or per minute.
“The productivity of both Cartagena and Buenaventura is one of the best in the world,” he added.
For his part, Liborio Cuellar, Director of the Buenaventura Port Association, explained that the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index measures the efficiency of ships from the moment they reach the sea buoy, out of the port, entry, berthing, unloading and loading. And departure to the buoy, taking data from all ports of the world.
He notes that, although the main variable is the volume of cargo per vessel, when comparing this port with terminals of the same size, the site rises in the world ranking to 9th place.
To achieve this, the Port Company made a significant investment in the operating system, which made it possible to achieve high levels of flexibility in loading and unloading. In addition, financial resources have been allocated to 13 gantry cranes and 36 mobile cranes; And for 1320 container refrigerated ports to keep cool.
Likewise, the space has been expanded to receive cargo in the yard, due to the presence of a dynamic capacity of 1.5 million containers per year, ensuring sufficient space for the operation.
“We have 36 containers per hour for each crane, which is the best number in Latin America so far,” the manager added.
The bottleneck to be solved
Former Finance Minister Rudolph Homes noted that in Buenaventura, the Aguadulce terminal, which includes the port of Singapore and a very large port in the Philippines as partners, has achieved, thanks to what it offers in other parts of the world, that all shipping lines have contracts with it, which means that the Port Association can only Servicing ships that do not arrive.
“So this creates a bottleneck because this port is smaller and next to it is the port that has everything and only the scales are responsible,” Homes adds.
According to the expert, if a ship arrives in the morning and wants to leave in the afternoon to reach Panama, this is not guaranteed in Aguadulce, causing damages due to the backlog of ships in the bay, by exercising a without capacity to efficiently meet the demand, which must be investigated by the watchdog Transport and control of industry and commerce.
Economy and Business