By Tarso Veloso
Brazil’s biggest port is getting a new railroad that will help the key agricultural nation expedite imports of much needed fertilizer for crops.
An internal railway at Santos Port was approved Wednesday by a federal court known as TCU after a months-long process. The decision paves the way for a complete overhaul in logistics infrastructure within the port, which will likely see its rail capacity double in the next 5 to ten years.
One of the main features will be equipment that can quickly unload fertilizer shipments.
“The productivity of a specialized terminal can be seven times higher than a general terminal, where the cargoes are unloaded directly to trucks,” said Bruno Stupello, business development and regulation director of the Santos Port Authority.
Brazil, the world’s biggest producer of soybeans, coffee and sugar, imports 85% of its fertilizers. Farmers are expanding, and fertilizer purchases rose from 26 million tons in 2017 to 40 million last year, straining current logistics.
The port has a capacity to move 50 million metric tons per year, which will expand to 115 million tons.
The next steps, according to Stupello, will be to identify the companies that want to join an association that will operate the new railway and share costs. They’ll invest close to 900 million reais ($166 million) over the next five years, starting in 2023.
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