Cargo Ferry Between La Union and Caldera Back On the Table

In order to minimize some of the impact that the Nicaraguan crisis has had on intraregional trade, the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador have announced that they are now in a position to start ferry operations.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

After unsuccessfully trying to implement this maritime cargo transport option, in May of last year the Spanish shipping company Odiel decided to end the negotiation process to operate the ferry, due to a disagreement over the setting of tariffs that would have to be charged for the service. Since then, the project has been forgotten.  

See history of failed attempts to launch the cargo ferry between La Union and Caldera.

But now, the crisis in Nicaragua has bought the project back to life, as the political crisis has severely affected trade among Central American countries. Due to the difficulties that businesses face in transporting land cargo, governments have been forced to look for alternatives.

See Evolution of the political crisis in Nicaragua.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador, it is explained that interested companies can contact the concessionaires to offer their services between the ports of La Union and Caldera. This is the first stage that will permit the flow of bilateral imports and exports.  

The document, published by the Salvadoran Ministry of Economy, explains that "... Costa Rica and El Salvador officially announced that both countries already have all of the conditions for the Central American Ferry to enter into operations, establishing an export and import route between the ports of La Unión and Caldera."

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador:

The issue is the launch of an initiative that would connect the commercial flow by sea between the two nations, which is expected to be consolidated as a definitive and sustained alternative over time to help minimize the risks associated with land transportation in the Central American region.

Efforts to implement the ferry have intensified as a result of the situation that arose in Nicaragua as an alternative measure to reduce the impact on Central American foreign trade.

Read full statement (in spanish).

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More on this topic

End of La Union – Caldera Cargo Ferry

October 2018

Despite the recent announcement by a Costa Rican company about the future of the operation of the Cargo ferry between El Salvador and Costa Rica, as planned, the service is still not operating and may never do so.

The option of maritime cargo transport emerged again with the objective of minimizing part of the impact that the Nicaraguan crisis has had on intraregional trade. That is why in July the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador announced that they were already able to begin ferrying operations. See "Cargo Ferry Between La Union and Caldera Back on the Table"

El Salvador - Costa Rica Ferry to Operate Soon

August 2018

The Costa Rican company Desacarga will be the authorized company to provide, from September, a maritime cargo service between the Salvadoran port of La Unión and Caldera, in Costa Rica.

Monica Segnini, CEO of Desacarga, told Elmundo.sv that "... the company is 'finalizing the final details to start operating the ferry in September', which, she explained, will offer a cargo and passenger transportation service both on the Pacific coast, and on land borders."

La Unión - Caldera Cargo Ferry Plan Abandoned

May 2017

Due to a disagreement over the rates that should be charged for the service, the Spanish shipping company Odiel has ended the negotiation process to operate the ferry.

The project which was announced with great fanfare by the Solís administration almost two years ago, failed to make any progress due to the need to modify the regulation on multimodal transport service, and now the operator who was interested in providing the Service, Naviera Odiel, has decided to withdraw from the negotiations, because an agreement on tariffs could not be reached. 

Bureaucracy Paralyzes La Union-Caldera Cargo Ferry

September 2016

The mania for regulatory bureaucracy which feeds its own existence is taking away flexibility in the use of resources in the economy, slowing development.

EDITORIAL

It will be impossible for Central Americans to make progress if every new business activity has to be authorized by a public official. In the region the practice is not that you can do anything that is not forbidden, but rather the general culture indicates that you can only do what the State authorizes you to do.

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