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February 13, 2013

Port of Paranagua to Install Higher Capacity Shiploaders

In an attempt to keep pace with the ever expanding grain production in Brazil, the governor of the state of Parana, Beto Richa, announced last week that the Port of Paranagua will open up bidding for the purchase and installation of four new shiploaders for the port. The new shiploaders will be installed in the Export Corridor and are expected to handle 60% more grain than the ones they are replacing.

This will be the first upgrade of equipment at the Export Corridor, which consists of three public berths, since large shiploaders were installed a decade ago. The new shiploaders will have the capacity to load 2,000 tons per hour. The loaders being replaced originally had the capacity to load 1,500 tons per hour, but due to their age, they averaged only 1,200 tons per hour.

The plan is to substitute the loaders in a gradual fashion to avoid even more bottlenecks at the port. Port officials feel that at least one new loader will be operational by the time the 2013/14 harvest is ready for export and they hope to have all four installed within 22 months.

Earlier in January, the governor had already announced that new regulations are being implemented to make the port more efficient and to avoid long lines of trucks waiting to unload at the port. During the peak of the export season, approximately 2,000 trucks per day arrive at the port with soybeans and corn for export. In past years, there were lines of trucks many kilometers long waiting to unload at the port.

To avoid those long lines in the future, every truck carrying grain to the port must now be registered online before they leave for the port. If a truck has not been pre-registered, it will not be allowed to enter the port. The hope is to only have enough trucks arriving at the port to meet their capacity to load vessels. Included in this new system will be instructions for the truck drivers as to the most efficient route they should take to enter the port and where they will be unloaded.

The Federation of Transport and Freight Companies of Parana (Fetranapr) welcome the changes as to how the truck traffic will be managed at the port. Under the old system of "first come first serve", their member drivers lost significant amounts of potential income by being forced to wait sometimes for several days before they were allowed to unload. Under the new system, they hope to be in and out of the port in a timely fashion.