Brazil’s Port Secretariat (SEP) is to introduce new measures to prioritize coastal shipping operations. In order to do this, coastal shipping will have to be freed from the time- consuming customs process. At present, all vessels docking at Brazilian ports, whether they be transporting import-export or domestic consignments, require customs inspection.

In total, Brazil is to invest $84.8 billion in upgrading transport and logistics as a means of streamlining port activities. The aim is to transfer as much cargo as possible from road to coastal shipping, which should reduce transport costs, cut theft and damage, as well as reducing the amount of wear and tear on roads, whilst at the same time decreasing the number of accidents.

The Ports Minister, Leônidas Cristino, recently noted, “SEP has been studying the prioritizing of coastal shipping for quite some time. Among the points to consider are fuel costs, berth preferences for coastal shipping, and the provision of non-customs areas.” By the beginning of 2014, SEP should be in possession of a new study that will allow it to implement some of the changes.

Barry Cross