As one of the fastest growing economies, Brazil is doing its best to make improvements, like increasing the depths at channels and ports, to receive more modern ships; such as post-panamaxes. As well, officials are focusing on roadway infrastructure, to cope with the sharp increase in shipping container volumes.
The port of Salvador, Itaguai, Recife and Angra dos Reis have completed dredging programs, and the huge port of Santos is forecasted to have increased their draught to 15 meters from 13 meters by mid-2012. Although this will push container ship capacity to 16,000 TEU, from the current 9,000 TEU, it is still a step behind many European ports.
“The expansion of Brazil’s overseas trade is being hampered by insufficient ports and terminals, operational constraints and poor infrastructure; for access to many vital ports. Prior to the PAC (growth acceleration) programme, there had been a serious under investment in the sector.” – a report by UK Trade & Investment.
With that being said, last year Brazil moved ahead of the UK, into the position of the world’s sixth largest economy, behind the US, China, Japan, Germany and France. As such, the scale of its output and the increased demand for imports, can only impose added strain on its ports capabilities; and highlight the need for continued shipping investment.