Of especial note was reefer cargoes climbed by 24.5% with exports also doing extremely and up 19.5% on the previous year. Frozen meat remained the main export product followed by timber and tobacco while plastic products accounted for the majority bulk of imports, despite a 3% decline from the previous year.
According to Renê Duarte, Portonave’s chief operational superintendent, during its five years of operation the company has handled a total of 2.4m teu which he attributes to the berthing of larger ships with higher cargo capacity, the capture of new shipping lines and the operational efficiency of the terminal. “In just five years we have become the leading container hander in Santa Catarina,” he added.
Despite Portonave increasing container handling volumes, it correspondingly reduced the number of vessels handled. In the first half of the year an average of 51 ships moored each month but this had fallen to 47 in the second half, reflecting the increasing number of vessels calling with lengths of more than 303 m.
According to the company, manoeuvring and docking tests for larger vessels began on October 4, 2012 with the MSC Luisa. Since then, ships of approximately 304 m long have been calling regularly at Portonave and to date twenty such vessels have been handled.
“Trials are currently being held to verify the technical feasibility of operating ships of this size in the Port Complex’s current manoeuvring basin, reflecting the joint efforts of the Port and Maritime authorities, the Itajaí and Navegantes Pilots and the terminals,” concluded Duarte.