Busier port despite slow economy
Activity at Barbados’ lone commercial sea port has increased despite Barbados’ economic challenges. That’s according to new information the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released last week in the latest edition of its port movement ranking.
The Bridgetown Port was ranked 64th out of 80 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the statistics showing that, based on the industry measurement of 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), there was a 3.8 per cent increase in activity there.
In Barbados, last year’s “container port throughput” was 74 923, compared with 72 163 in 2012 and 2011’s 77 051.
The top-ranked ports were located in Panama (two), Brasil, Mexico and Colombia, with Jamaica achieving the highest ranking for the Caribbean, the ECLAC report said.
ECLAC’s overall analyst found there was a “deceleration in Latin America and the Caribbean’s foreign trade continued affecting port activity by the end of 2013, a year in which growth was just 1.7 per cent”.
It said this “confirms the decline in activity in the ports of several countries in the region”, noting that in 2010 and 2011 the annual expansion reached 14 per cent, and was 5.9 per cent in 2012.
“The container movement ranking shows the details of this kind of cargo activity in 80 of the region’s terminals, where operations in 2013 reached 46.6 million TEUs. The study relies upon information compiled by ECLAC directly from local and national port authorities,” the report said.
“The first 30 ports in the ranking, with activity levels ranging from 500 000 to three million TEUs, account for about 82 per cent of container operations in the region.
The slowdown in activity compared with previous years was determined mainly by the ports located in five countries of the Caribbean basin: Colombia, with a 6.9 per cent annual drop, Jamaica (-8.2 per cent), Venezuela (-8.2 per cent), Panama (-4.1 per cent) and the Dominican Republic (-21.7 per cent).
“In contrast, the terminals of five South American countries and one Central American nation maintained their growth levels, despite the global context of deceleration.
This was the case in Argentina, with a 9.8 per cent increase versus 2012, Brazil (6.2 per cent), Uruguay (9.7 per cent), Chile (six per cent), Ecuador (3.9 per cent) and Costa Rica (37.5 per cent),” it added. (SC)