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October 2011
         

The port of call

Guayaquil is home to one of Latin America’s busiest ports, and Contecon, who maintain the facility, have won awards for their efficient management
Guayaquil is, above all other things, a port city, and the port itself is a hugely important pillar of the local and national economy. 70 percent of Ecuador’s total import and export cargo currently passes through Guayaquil, making it one of the ten most busy ports in Latin America.

Mayor Jaime Nebot likes to point out the similarities between his city and Miami – another port city that rediscovered and reinvigorated itself to become a thriving tourist and business destination.

The port, which lies on the banks of the Guayas River, 50 miles from the Gulf of Guayaquil on Ecuador's Pacific coast, has been earmarked for a $70 million investment next year to upgrade machinery. Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA) the port operator and an affiliate of International Container Terminal Services Inc, will fund the upgrade. Contecon assumed management responsibility for the container and multi-purpose terminal as part of a 20-year concession as of August 1, 2007.

Since assuming control of the terminal, CGSA has invested around $160m in both civil works and equipment. This has resulted in the creation of 1,700 meters of linear berth, of which 700 meters are exclusively set aside for full container vessels. This year it will invest a further $70m to upgrade operations and machinery by purchasing four additional cranes for the port.

Guayaquil has proved to be somewhat recession proof, reporting traffic of 900,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) in 2010, of which CGSA accounted for 625,000 TEU. This year a further increase has been forecast, which will bring the TEU traffic to the 1,000,000 mark.

With regard to safety, Contecon have been awarded several certifications such as ISPS Code and the BASC Certification as well as certificates in ISO Integrated Norms (ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 28000). Locally, Contecon was awarded by the Municipality of Guayaquil with an “Eco-efficiency Recognition” and, by the Chamber of Commerce with the “Centenario Decoration” for its significant contribution to the country’s international trade.

A UNITED WORLD SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED BY:
Joel Malo, Fátima Ruiz and Iris Oliveros
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