Mar 12, 2018

Port of Paranagua in Southern Brazil loads Largest Grain Vessel

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil has invested heavily over the last seven years to increase its capacity and efficiency in exporting grain and those efforts have paid off.

Last week, the Port of Paranagua reported that they loaded the largest grain vessel to ever visit the port. The vessel, Jubilant Devotion, was loaded with 87,000 tons of soybean meal or the equivalent of 2,900 semi-trucks. Just before that vessel was loaded, the vessel Nord Cetus was loaded with 84,700 tons of soybean meal. The port can accommodate these larger vessels due to the ongoing dredging operation that increased draft at the berths and the channel leading to the port. The dredging operations are scheduled to be completed in August.

The port has also increased its efficiency to load vessels as well. They reported that last week they set a record for the port by loading a 16,500 ton vessel in six hours.

Since 2011 the port has invested R$ 657 million in new ship loaders (R$ 59.4 million), conveyor systems, storage capacity, improved rail terminals, new dump pits for trucks, a computerized system for truck arrivals, and a greater draft at the berths and the channel.

The results have been very positive. Since the improvements have begun, the capacity of the port has increased 25% and just last year alone, it increased 14% or double the national average.

The Port of Paranagua was notorious in years past for its inefficiency and the long lines of trucks that had to wait for days to get into the port. Some of those lines of trucks were as long as 75 kilometers, but that no longer happens at the port. Only trucks that are notified by the new computer system are allowed to enter the port.

The port has taken on these improvement projects in order to remain competitive with new ports in northern Brazil called the "Northern Arc" of ports. It costs less to transport grain to the northern ports, so the Port of Paranagua had to reduce its costs and improve its efficiency to remain competitive.