Foreign Trade: Delays and Rising Costs Expected

A few days before the expiration of the crane service contract in Guatemala's Port of Santo Tomas de Castilla, local exporters expect a possible scenario of rising costs and slower operations.

Monday, August 17, 2020

The crane service contract was in force for 10 years and will expire on September 6. So far, businessmen do not know clearly what is the status of the tender, which the National Port Company Santo Tomas de Castilla (Empornac), must make to award the contract.

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After Byron Francisco Pineda Peña was unexpectedly dismissed as president of the Board of Directors of Empornac on August 13, an atmosphere of uncertainty has been generated.

Amador Carballido, general director of the Guatemalan Exporters Association (Agexport), told that "... We all know that the deadline was going to expire and it is not a surprise what is happening. The new authority assigned this year goes in knowing that, was warned and comes to August and is still unresolved'."

According to the Agexport representative, if the problem is not resolved promptly, the users of the maritime terminal will have to face a scenario in which the shipping companies will establish higher costs due to delays, since the ship's cranes are less effective than those on land.

Juan Pablo Carrasco, president of the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), explained that "... a viable solution must be sought, and above all one that does not put the import and export of goods at risk, as well as a transparent process."

If the required measures are not taken quickly, the movement of cargo in the country could fall into a serious situation, agree both business leaders.

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