Estaleiro Atlantico Sul fecha - closes
Ports and Terminals

Freight to Asia diverts attention from container charges in Brazil’s northeast

Jul, 28, 2022 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202230

In parallel to the dispute between companies interested in purchasing a portion of the Atlantico Sul Shipyard, there is an ongoing debate over the cost of container handling at the Port of Suape, the most extensive in Brazil in terms of terminal handling charges.

Indeed, when compared to Ceará ports like as Fortaleza (R$ 900) and Pecém (R$ 845), Suape, which charges R$ 1,230, adds an extra R$ 405 per container – although Salvador (BA), with R$ 1,150, and Vitória (ES), with R$ 1,030, are not very expressive.

However, in a scenario where the average cost of transporting a container to and from Asian routes is US$ 9 thousand (R$ 49,500), this difference appears insignificant for exporters and importers to determine which port to use.

Mainly because for shipowners, it matters little where the container is since Vitória, Salvador, Suape, and Pecém represent equal costs on the Asian lines.

Of course, adding R$ 405 per container is important for those who need to save expenditures. According to a CNI survey, the problem following the pandemic and the closure of the Shanghai port in China isn’t THC but the freight cost levied by the shipowner (on average, US$ 10,600).

In January 2020, prices were $2,100. In January 2021, they rose to US$9,000, and in January 2022 to US$11,200. In April, they dropped a little, but they’re back to $10,600 in July.

The CNI presented worrisome research last week for individuals who use port services. According to it, freight valued at $10,000 per container is the new standard in the shipping sector.

The CNI examined the consequences of the global logistics crisis created by covid-19 in Brazil and on the world’s major shipping routes. The disruptions in China and other nations were mirrored in the universal suspension of transportation and package services. It affects those who export, particularly those who import into Brazil.

This is a global phenomenon. According to the data, the cost of transporting a 40-foot container from Brazil to US ports is close to US$ 10,000. It is eight times higher than that observed before the pandemic.

For Gabriel Carvalho, from the operator Blue Container, which serves entrepreneurs in the Northeast, the value is 4x greater than that observed before the pandemic. Still, it represents a drop of 29% compared to the end of 2021 – when they reached US$ 13 thousand.

Carvalho believes that with the normalization of routes, prices tend to stabilize. But on a new level. This has to do with fuel costs, re-routing, and dollar prices. But the $4,000 shipping is definitely gone.

This entire scenario, and especially the idea of verticalizing services, drives corporations like Maersk to have private use terminals worldwide. With the increased freight charges, R$ 400 in a container in a Northeast port became a minor detail.

Source: Jornal do Comércio

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