Latinports’ Executive Director Warns About “Favela Ports” Proliferation
As of general interest, we transcribe interview of Mundo Maritimo of Chile to Latinports' executive director, Julian Palacio, following his presentation on the recent Latin American Port Expansion Summit in Lima, Peru, where he explained that "while creating unnecessary port infrastructure, internal transport is neglected".
Latinports’ Executive Director, Julian Palacio, warns of risks that may mean the phenomenon of the oversize of port infrastructure, beyond the required demand, and hence takes the concept of Favela Ports, “an expression that I heard from an important Brazilian port businessman about the harmful proliferation of terminals in some ports of your country”.
The expert raised that while be overstate the ports that remain dependent on the same cargo that generates its hinterland, the region still delayed in transport infrastructure, factor that hurts competitiveness and which shows decision making without sufficient planning
Regarding he has pointed out cases as the ports of La Union in El Salvador, Puerto Brisa in Colombia and Tecplata in Argentina that, after large investments, currently are, in practice, phantom ports. Julian Palacio referred to this worrying issue with MundoMaritimo.
What do you thing it is the reason or reasons that are generating the existence of so-called “Favela Ports” in the region?
Lack of knowledge of the business, because not by having more terminals will mobilize more cargo in the ports. It is the same cargo distributed between more which endangers the profitability of the business at the expense of foreign trade.
Would these infrastructures be an “anxious” replay to the predominance of large container ships?
I think yes. Anxious and wrong.
What responsibility is predominant in these cases: the State or private?
Both. Recent failures have been both in public and private initiatives.
Can we talk of a speculative threat in the port industry?
There was over-expected on the growth of the industry in the first decade of this century?
Yes, and the global crisis which is still latent led to fret all projections.
Do you see any country in the region which is making an successful effort in port terms?
I believe that all are repeating the same mistake.
In your view should such efforts prosecute towards an infrastructure of internal transport in the different countries of the region?
Definitely. While port overcapacity is being promoted, diverting significant resources, we continue neglecting internal transport infrastructure which exaggerated cost results in the fragility of our foreign trade.
What you think the various proposals for the creation of bioceanic corridors, especially in South America?
In my opinion the most (mainly the Central American) are absurd. I like the project of the Central Bioceanic Corridor that would unite to Porto Alegre (Brazil) in the Atlantic with Coquimbo (Chile) in the Pacific, passing by the projected Agua Negra tunnel between Argentina and Chile, serving an important all the countries of the Southern Cone.
In the case of Chile, what do you think about the development proposals of a Grand Scale Port: will justify the investment?
If it is for now, not, as the President of the Chamber of Shipping and Port of Chile said. For more than 15 years horizon might be useful. However, I am concerned about what might happen with the ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio, because there will be no charge for many neighbouring ports.
Latinports executive director ended up noting “while it is necessary to review our port capacity this must do with the reason and not the desire as ‘failure to plan is to plan the failure'”.