A group of Brazilian pilots are asking national port authorities to limit the length of vessels permitted to call into the country’s largest container port, Santos. A ship owners’ representative warned of dire consequences if the navigators have their way.
President of the Sao Paulo/Santos branch of national pilots’ association Conapra, Claudio Paulino, said it wants to see a 266 m (873 ft) length restriction at the port because insufficient dredging makes it unsafe for vessels, such as the 300 m-long CMA CGM Tigris which docked there early in February. At 10,622 teu, it is also the largest container ship handled by Santos to date.
But Claudio Loureiro, executive president of Centronave which represents foreign-flag ship owners operating in Brazil, criticised the idea in a letter to local port authority Codesp. The consequences could be bad for Santos if the current limit of 336 m length, depending on tidal conditions and location of port terminal, is reduced to 266 m.