The blacklisting has led to complete chaos with boxes piling up at all four of the container terminals in Buenos Aires which are operating at up to 95% of capacity. Because of this, some transhipment cargo is now diverting to the rival port of Montevideo, across the River Plate.
Some reports suggest up to 12,000 containers are trapped in the TRP, Terminal 4, BACTSSA and Exolgan terminals which are operated respectively by, DP World, APMT, Hutchison and PSA International.
A terminal manager at one of the BA facilities told CM: “This dispute has been going on for a month now, but since the beginning of December it has started to get out of hand as the Argentine union of United Maritime Workers ( SOMU) has imposed a 100% ban on all Paraguayan originated and destined cargo. There is now no space to move in our terminals and carriers are rolling over cargo. Following on from the recent cocaine clampdown and the extra required scanning of boxes, plus the knock-on effect of delays in Brazil, it is now complete chaos. Many shipping lines have already started loading and unloading Paraguayan cargo in Montevideo.” He added that each terminal has only one scanner apiece to handle the 1.8m teu that BA handles annually.