The Port of Rio Grande in the Brazilian southernmost state of Rio Grande do sul, will have continuous dredging of its access channel. The decision follows strong long-standing demand from operators and the fact that the main maritime port terminal in the state of Rio Grande do Sul also has close links with the three other Mercosur member countries, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.
Rio Grande do Sul is not only a booming agriculture state, but has land borders with Mercosur members that are increasingly appealing to the Rio Grande terminal to export their production.
“The continuous dredging will allow larger vessels to circulate in and out of the port permanently, increasing cargo throughput and, consequently, bringing the demand for our services to a higher level,” pointed out Sandro Araújo, a representative at the Sdaersgs (Union of Customs Brokers of the State of Rio Grande do Sul) meeting.
The meeting was attended by dozens of industry leaders, including the directors of Portos RS, which manages other ports in the 'gaucho' state, Porto Alegre, and Pelotas, that hosted the meeting.
According to Araújo, until now dredging was carried out sporadically, always requiring specific authorization for its execution, which caused a reduction in the port’s draft for most of the year. Final authorization for the continuous dredging was approved by the Rio Grande port Authority Council, CAP
“With such services being carried out continuously, the draft will always remain adequate for larger vessels transporting more products. The cost will be borne by Portos RS, which manages the Port of Rio Grande,” said the customs broker. He also commented that private terminals in the area, like Tecon, have announced that they will use the Rio Grande dredger to maintain the depth of their access channels.
The Sdaergs representative also highlighted the possibility of increasing cargo transport from Uruguay via the waterway linking the Patos and Merin lagoons with the Port of Rio Grande, as well as from landlocked Paraguay which has good land contacts to the coast..
“This is another life-long dream of the foreign trade community, which could significantly increase cargo throughput at Rio Grande, since vessels would not be forced to travel to Montevideo (end of the line), thus increasing the amount of work available to our custom brokers,” said Araújo, who nevertheless warned that the “implementation of such a project may still take a long time to happen.”
The 45th meeting of the Port Authority Council opened with the new members of the Council taking office and with the presentation of the preliminary results of cargo throughput in the Port of Rio Grande in the first half of 2022.
The Sdaergs delegate pointed out that dredging should begin this year and is now in the environmental clearance phase. He said that during this time, terminal operators should use the opportunity to advance their initiatives and plans, while the dredging vessel from Germany arrives.