Ferry Starts Between La Union and Caldera

On July a ferry could be traveling by sea between the two ports on a 16 hour journey, plus time spent in ports, with a base cost of $800.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The long announced ferry between Central American Pacific ports could be ready to start operations, according to a joint statement by Naviera Bajos del Odiel and the Government of Costa Rica.

The story of this sea route started in August 2013, when "... the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) confirmed that at the end of November an agreement with the Spanish company Naviera del Odiel had been finalised for the start of ferry operations connecting the port of La Union to Puerto Corinto, in Nicaragua." This project never materialized, apparently because of unwillingness on the part of the government of Nicaragua.

In January 2015 the same shipping company reappeared, announcing that early that year it would operate a cargo ferry between the ports of La Union in El Salvador and Caldera in Costa Rica.

Yesterday's announcement, on March 17, established that in July "or sooner if possible", operations would start of between those ports.

The cost of $800 per container could drop depending on the number of containers that each company transports. The volume of cargo transported, according to the frequency of operations planned, 3 per week carrying 100 trucks per trip, represents little more than 20% of the total volume of the current land cargo transported between Costa Rica and the area under influence of La Union Port .

According to Javier Villafante, President of the Spanish shipping company Odiel, "... The expectation we have is to mobilize 60 boxcars in the first 3 months in each direction of travel, then 80 boxcars up to 100 trucks in the first six months of operation. The journey from La Union to Caldera not only benefits Costa Rica and El Salvador, but also the cargo that comes from Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras, going southwards."

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More on this topic

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. 

Will there be a Cargo Ferry Between La Union and Caldera?

October 2016

In addition to the bureaucracy delaying the project, there is now also an assessment by the shipping company that will provide the service, in order to find a way to "make it profitable."

The project which was announced with great fanfare by the Solis administration one year ago, has not only failed to advance because of the need to modify the regulations on multimodal transport services, but also because now the Odiel shipping company is looking for customers and evaluating the expected profitability of the business, according to government representatives.

Bureaucracy and the Ferry Between La Union and Caldera

July 2016

A year after the announcement, the project to establish a marine cargo ferry between El Salvador and Costa Rica remains on paper.

Although it had been announced that the service would begin in late July 2016, it seems that the idea of a ferry transporting goods between the ports of Costa Rica and El Salvador at a base cost of $800 will not happen, at least for now.

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