Chile seeks to diversify its port and logistics alternatives

After the serious problems faced in the previous season, there is an urgent interest on the part of the authorities and business organizations for each link in the logistics chain.

To recover a standard lost in the region, the country has turned to expanding the possibilities of transporting and shipping its products, strengthening ports in provinces closest to fruit production and providing public support for the initiative to re-implement the railway to the southern provinces of the country.

Blueberry Express

The second week of December, the loading of 1.200 pallets of fresh blueberries was carried out in Puerto Coronel, marking the start of the “Blueberry Express” service, operated by Cool Carriers, one of the world's largest refrigerated ship operators.

This is the first of a series of services that will depart from Puerto Coronel, in southern Chile, coinciding with the start of the high season for blueberry exports, one of the main products in the area.

The operation had an intense process of adjustments and coordination to face a greater challenge in logistical terms, although the port of Coronel has been shipping frozen fruit since 2015, it only made its first shipment of fresh fruit in March of this year.

Displacement of crops

After the serious problems faced in the previous season, there is an urgent interest on the part of the authorities and business organizations for each link in the logistics chain.

"Shipping fresh fruit is a demanding maneuver and we managed to complete it successfully, so we are sure that we will be the first option in southern Chile," says Rodrigo Schilling, commercial manager of Cool Carriers.

The general manager of Puerto Coronel, Michelle Prater, highlighted the advantage of local alternatives to reduce costs and travel times, in addition to anticipating the displacement of these crops to the south as a result of climate change. “Coronel is the third national terminal in fruit shipments to the world. We are a multipurpose terminal, with an exclusive dock for this cargo format and a highly trained team to ship the fruit from Chile to the world”, she highlighted.

Hub Log Ñuble

Ñuble is becoming not only one of the production areas for fruit and vegetable crops that move south, but also a logistics operations center. The area meets favorable conditions for the development of logistics services, among them, the proximity of the ports of the Biobío region, such as San Vicente, Talcahuano and Coronel, it is necessary to strengthen the logistics chain and the link with these maritime terminals, which would reduce costs and transfer times.

At the end of November, the FIC-R Ñuble project “Transfer of Pilot Experiments in Logistics Processes for the transfer of Hub Logs” was launched. The project contemplates the design and implementation of pilot experiments in logistics processes, which will allow information to be collected to facilitate and improve the transfer of the logistics operations center in the Ñuble Region.

In this way, it is expected to improve the logistics chains of the region to favor exports.

port availability

Currently, only a third of the fruit production leaves through ports in southern Chile. The idea is to considerably increase these figures. There are many packing that they are already working with the ports of Talcahuano and Coronel, in addition to the fact that forestry exports have decreased considerably, so there is a great space to grow in fruit growing, regarding the increase in the fruit growing area in the southern areas in general.

Guacolda Vargas, manager of Development and Sustainability of Ports of Talcahuano, maintains that the southern ports are prepared to receive the agro-industrial cargo from the area. “Our terminals are multipurpose, we have road and rail connectivity, being able to reach different destination markets, both in Asia, Central America, Europe and North America. In addition, there are facilities, such as the USDA / SAG (Cabrero) Inspection Center, which allows certifying exports of fresh fruits and vegetables to the United States ”, she affirms.


Chile not only seeks to promote alternatives in the south, linked to fruit, but also seeks to implement ambitious projects in its port infrastructure, due to the potential loss of spaces due to the Peruvian advance in port matters, with the construction of the Port of Chanchay, the expansion works in the Port of Callao and the project of a port superior to the first (Puerto de Corio), added to the alternatives in Ecuador and Colombia.


In this perspective, the construction of the Large Scale Port (PGE) or External Port of San Antonio is being implemented, as a way to recover competitiveness in the area of ​​port infrastructure and as a complement to the development strategy that will participate in the Bi-Oceanic Canal. that will unite the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific, for which reason Chile plans to invest in the infrastructure of a freight rail network that allows decongestion and facilitates arrival at ports, modernizing technological infrastructure, with a 5G network and fiber optics, among other technologies .

By Martín Carrillo O.- Blueberries Consulting

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