The recent diplomatic spat between Colombia and Venezuela has seen some dry bulk consignments switching ports. The closure of the border, effectively trapped around 120,000 tonnes of coal in Northern Santander, resulted in consignment being diverted to the port of Compas in Barranquilla, from where they were exported.

The coal was sent by road from Sardinata to Puerto Capulco, where it was loaded on barges for transport along the Magdalena River, this being the first ever such shipment from Northern Santander to use the inland waterway network to send coal to Barranquilla.

The coal belonged to CI Interamerican Conminas SA, which has been exporting coal from Northern Santander through Venezuelan port's for the last 20 years, with traffic amounting to 600,000–800,000 tonnes per year. This is now being handled by Coal Corps Port Company, which is the concessionaire and operator of facilities at Puerto Capulco, in Gamarra.

This change in the use of ports should see around 1.5 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal from northern Santander shipped to Barranquilla this year, in addition to another 500,000 tonnes of other dry bulk.