Concessionaires will not be allowed to continue as terminal operators, although some are currently still able to operate as shipping agents and stevedores. Others have also had their stevedoring operations terminated.
The Chavez government has said that Bolipuertos will reach amicable settlements with private terminal operators to ensure a smooth transition for the ports from the private to the public sector. Companies have been ordered to hand over all information on commercial contracts with shippers and shipping lines. Terminal workers have been offered new contracts by Bolipuertos.
Private operators report, however, that the situation has the potential to descend into chaos. One source, speaking to CM on condition of anonymity, said: “Bolipuertos took over the operations and equipment of the private companies 10 days ago. Most operators have now been given an inventory of their assets, but some have so far not been able to obtain even that. Operators are still considering how to formalise the seizure. It is very difficult to establish contact with government officials and there are many rumours going around.”