According to ANTAQ, the national port sector (public ports and private terminals) handled 247.1 million tons in the first quarter of 2020. This is only a 1.1% drop year-on-year. Whilst there was a slowdown at the beginning of the quarter, the organ pointed out that in March movement reached 89.7 million tons, 7.6% higher than year-ago levels. Furthermore, cabotage grew 14.9% in the first quarter of this year, with 62.9 million tons handled at Brazilian port facilities. Cabotage container shipping, in specific, registered 9.3% growth during the first quarter, compared to the same period last year, totaling 7.6 million tons handled. Whilst ANTAQ acknowledged that how long the coronavirus pandemic will last is very uncertain and that properly assessing how the movement of goods will develop in the coming months is a very speculative exercise, performance of national waterway transport in the first quarter was surprisingly good. If this trend is consolidated in the coming months, Brazil has shown that it has the necessary planning and port infrastructure conditions to maintain or even expand its current position as one of the world’s main food suppliers.”.
Source: ANTAQ/Datamar News