Argentina has set a maximum rate paid for port docking and undocking services, the government said in its official gazette, a change the Transportation Ministry said would slash docking costs by up to 40%. The move comes as President Mauricio Macri seeks to lower the cost of exporting food from the world’s No. 3 soy and corn exporter and the leading shipper of soybean livestock feed.
Maximum rates will decline between 20 and 40% under the new rules.
“This will improve logistics costs and market transparency. It is one more step that will allow the port sector to keep growing,” Jorge Metz, national undersecretary of ports and waterways in the Transportation Ministry, said in the statement.
Metz revealed that in November the cost of docking services in Rosario, the point of departure for 80% of Argentina’s agricultural exports, was about US$108,000 per vessel. That represents about 30% of each boat’s total port costs.
The government had previously reached a deal with the Rosario port’s stevedores union to accept competitive bidding for loading and unloading contracts, breaking a decades-long monopoly that resulted in elevated costs.
According to the Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities, the Rosario port complex - where large agricultural traders like Cargill and Bunge own terminals - receives some 2,500 cargo ships per year.