Costa Rica: Moin New Terminal Faces its First Crisis


Five weeks after its official entry into operation, the company APM Terminals faced the first crisis at the Container Terminal of Moín (TCM), in Limón.  The clearest evidence was the long dams of vans at the entrance to the port, which in turn caused the road collapse in the area, on April 1st.

Representatives of the port terminal and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) agreed that a clear cause of this chaos was the announcement of the closure of route 32, which links San José with Limón, for demarcation work.

The warning caused dozens of carriers who had an appointment in the port to travel to Limón since April 2 night, despite having an appointment until the morning, afternoon or evening of April 3.

"To avoid the closure of Route 32, the carriers preferred to move earlier to their appointment, but when they arrived at the terminal they had nowhere to park, so they had to stay on the road to wait their turn. traffic congestion, "said Kenneth Waugh, director of the concessionaire.

In a matter of minutes, the trucks filled the 2.3 kilometers of the road that connects route 32 with the entrance of the TCM. The line extended another three kilometers of the road to Limón, which caused the collapse at the intersection between both roads, preventing the passage of private vehicles.

There were people who did not come to meetings or appointments, whether they left Limón or had to enter the city.

APM Terminals had to speed up the attention at the port and allocate more resources to be able to free the passage on Route 32. That was achieved around 10:15 am, when the problem began at dawn.

Also the desperation of the transporters was the culprit of the saturation of the telephone exchange of the terminal, for that reason many arrived without appointment.

The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Rodolfo Méndez, acknowledged that there was a "totally inadequate road condition", since the road to the Caribbean is with jobs.

The authorities ordered to suspend until further notice the closures for the works of demarcation of the 7.5 kilometers of route 32, between the toll of Zurquí and the crossing of Río Frío. These would apply from this and until next Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm, but they were put on hold the first day.

APM Terminals has the concession to operate the megaport for 33 years. The work cost $ 1,000 million and faced questions, mainly, because it implies to assume 70% of the load that was received by the Port Administration and Economic Development Board of the Atlantic Coast (Japdeva).

The TCM, at this time, also faces a delay of 25 hours of work, which not only affects the attention of the vessels, but the influx with which the trucks arrive to leave or withdraw the commercial load to the platform.

Although such a critical situation had never been presented, the Costa Rican Chamber of Shipping (NAVE) reported that this is not the first time that there have been convergences in the access route to the port.

APM Terminals explained that to a large extent, the delay occurs because not all shipping companies are exact with the number of movements that must be made to load or unload the merchandise of a ship when they reserve their space of attention.

According to Waugh, only this week they have a delay of 3,000 movements that were not initially reported by the shipping companies when reserving the attention of a ship. That amount of movements translates into 25 hours of work.

The piñeros and banana workers also expressed their concern about the delays in the attention of transportation units in the Container Terminal of Moín, because the wait increases the cost for refrigeration of the containers that transport the fruit, in addition to recording the cost made out of fuel.

The president of the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica, Laura Bonilla, said she will ask for an appointment with the president of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, because his sector is facing major obstacles, and now logistical problems are added.

"We hope it will be resolved soon, our sector is being affected by the drop in exports due to the impact of El Niño and logistical problems," Bonilla said.

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