A big impact on Caribbean cargo business by losing their grip in container trade
Ever since the crisis of 2009, Caribbean has not seen the heights of container trade which was evident before that. According to the recent reports issued by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) foreign trade has declined in the region in the past few years. This downward trend is both disturbing and alarming at the same time as it is a dramatic shift. This situation has thrown the ports on a low position in the rankings issued.
Report issued by ECLAC
The recent report by ECLAC had all the details in it; the fact and figures. It was very evident that the quantity of containerized cargo on the ports of Cargo to Caribbean and Latin America dropped to 0.9 percent during the year 2016. This loss is part of the continual declining episodes of trade observed for the past few years. But it was noted that this loss during 2016 is the biggest witnessed after 2009 crisis.
The downfall can be seen through the data shared by ECLAC of the past few years. The throughput was 6.0 percent in 2012, 1.3 percent in 2013, 2.4 percent in 2014 and 2.5 percent in 2015. The total volume of activity was recorded as 47.5 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) approximately.
The report further mentioned the fact that the first 40 ports in the rankings were the core; meaning almost 90 percent of the trade was earned from these ports. The next 100 ports come in the 10 percent left behind. “The data shared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) states the fact that great heterogeneity in the performance of port throughput, at a sub-regional level as well as by country,” the report further confirmed.
Reason behind downward trend
According to ECLAC report, the ultimate downfall in 2016 was due to the decrease in activity in five countries namely: Brazil (-4.4 percent), Panama (-9.1 percent), Colombia (-3.6 percent), Argentina (-6.1 percent) and the Bahamas (-14.3 percent). This was the determining force behind the decrement in foreign trade in this region in particular.
These losses, however were somehow compensated by the increase in trade in several other countries including: Mexico (3.2 percent rise), Chile (4.8 percent), Peru (8.4 percent), Ecuador (4.5 percent), the Dominican Republic (8.3 percent), Guatemala (8.8 percent), Costa Rica (7.3 percent) and Uruguay (9.5 percent).
ECLAC’s report was quite comprehensive making the fact evident that volume of the overall port activity at certain ports and terminal including Buenos Aires in Argentina, Kingston in Jamaica, Freeport in the Bahamas, Santos in Brazil, Cartagena in Colombia, and Colón and Balboa in Panama.
United Nations is another reliable source of information. It releases its rankings based on surveys and reports. UN also disclosed its rankings of container throughput recently. These rankings are quite reliable and were published in “Maritime and Logistics Profile”. The observation from these rankings is no different than ECLAC. A decline in trends of foreign trade in the container terminals were witnessed in the above mentioned region.