Key players in Chile’s export and import sectors are working to identify effective solutions to the logistic issues that have slowed trade.
Meetings between industry leaders and the Ministries of Transportation and Economy have taken place, according to a news release.
Key players in the logistics chain, including the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Corporation of Consumers and Users, the Food Export Council, the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile, the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile and port logistics operators, are working with carriers, drivers and workers from the ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio, according to the release.
The goal of the talks, according to the release, is a strategy to “untangle the logistic issues” facing Chile.
While logistical issues were made worse by the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, industry leaders in Chile say the country needs to implement short- and medium-term measures to improve the efficiency of Chilean ports, solve the shortage of workers throughout the logistics chain and find a way to mitigate the rise in shipping rates, among other issues.
One of the measures being considered, according to the release, is the authorization of the Port of Ventanas to receive cargo ships.
Other measures include giving priority to food and strategic supplies in port operations; making chamber ships available in the Valparaíso and Coquimbo terminals, as well as the ports of the eighth region; and modifying the wave-height restrictions in the port of San Antonio, which would facilitate the arrival and departure of more ships.
“The loss of fruit and the uncertainty generated by the inability to have fruit arrive on time to international clients is generating a crisis that affects the image of Chile as a premier global supplier,” Ronald Bown, president of the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile, or ASOEX, said in the release. “This severely jeopardizes Chile’s place as the main producer-exporter of fresh fruit in the Southern Hemisphere and fifth largest worldwide.”
The search for solutions by the public and private sectors is off to a “great start,” Bown said in the release.
“We have all the right partners sitting at the table to solve the main issues, and we are confident that during the upcoming season, we will return to pre-pandemic levels of service,” Bown said in the release.
Despite logistical challenges, the USDA reported U.S. imports of Chilean fruit were up in both value and volume from July 2021 through June 2022. U.S. imports of Chilean fruit by volume totaled 954,262 metric tons for the 12-month period ending June 2022, up 13% from the previous year. U.S. imports of Chilean fruit by value totaled $2.09 billion for the 12-month period ending in June, up 12% from the previous year.