According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), container throughput in the Caribbean ports declined by 8.2% last year.
ECLAC said the “limited dynamism” of the region’s ports in 2014 was determined mainly by “the fall in the Caribbean area and on the east coast of South America, where in the first case transhipment operations represent a significant volume of port activity.”
“This was explained mainly by Jamaica, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic showing annual declines of 3.9%, 6.7% and 9.9%, respectively and Argentina 22.4%.”
As in previous periods, ECLAC said the reasons behind growth, deceleration, or “an outright decrease in port activity,” are varied.
It said some ports registered positive figures due to the success of their projects and commercial management, while others were affected by low trade performance in general and some operational problems.
According to ECLAC, the stagnation observed in port throughputs largely stems from the changes in the nature of port activity that have occurred since the last wave of reforms in the region’s terminals.
Modern ports require a more sophisticated and complex governance to achieve goals that contribute to countries’ economic development including greater levels of service, efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
“Furthermore, new governance is needed for the integration of the logistics chain in the framework of comprehensive and sustainable public policies, based on an integrated and systemic view,” said ECLAC.
However, ECLAC added that increases were registered in container activity on the west coast of South America (5.3%), Mexico (4%) and Central America (3.4 %). Conversely declines of 2.2% were recorded for the east coast.