Guayaquil's Private Terminals Gain Market Share in the Port Industry


Guayaquil’s private port terminals move 86% of the total non-oil cargo of the entire national port system.   According to a report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the port area of Guayaquil grew 10.29% in 2018, in relation to the previous year. In that category, the containerized cargo was included by the Simón Bolívar Multipurpose Port, operated by Contecon which was appointed by the State and by the Qualified Private Terminals (TPH).

The total volume that all terminals moved in 2018 was 2.064 million TEU (20 feet containers).

When breaking down these figures, analysts find that the market share has been changing over the last three years.

Contecon went from handling 66% of cargo in 2016 to a smaller volume and competitors with domestic and foreign private capital have gained ground.

The main ones are: Guayaquil Port Terminal (TPG), which is a subsidiary of the Chilean capital company SAAM; Bananapuerto, administered by Naportec, which is Dole's operator in Ecuador; and Fertisa of the Wong Group.

According to the Association of Private Port Terminals of Ecuador (Asotep), together, the TPH handled more than 50% of the cargo in Guayaquil in 2018. This union was founded in 1993 with the vision of bringing together all private companies operating new terminals.

The investments of these groups totalled US$ 410.4 million in 2017. This year, docks and infrastructure will be expanded to adapt to the new draft of the access channel to the ports of Guayaquil, 12.5 m. TPG and Bananapuerto have expanded their docks and in the coming months expect new gantry cranes to discharge containers from ships and to operate in the yards.

Javier Moreira, president of the Ecuadorian Maritime Chamber (Camae), points out that the development of the sector is due to the free competition that exists. It calculates that in 2020 the market will be consolidated with private investments, which amount to more than US$ 1 billion throughout the country. This figure includes the Port of Deep Waters of Posorja that recently received 13 cranes with which it will operate from August.

He explains that, if the free competition had not been awarded to the private sector, "We would still be operating with the Peiner crane in Guayaquil". This was an old structure that ended up as scrap metal. He recalled that before the state port was concessioned in 2007, there was already competition in place. Seven companies, called "permit holders", had their space commissioned, equipment and warehouses but the operation was chaotic. Meanwhile, private terminals that had been authorized to be built between 1970 and 2004, according to Asotep, began to develop.

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