A severe drought affecting the major rivers in Brazil’s Amazon region has prompted several carriers, including regional operators Alianca (Maersk), Log-In Logistica (MSC), and CMA CGM, to divert container tonnage from Manaus due to over-draft issues. The water depth restrictions have had a significant impact on larger vessels, particularly the 3,765 TEU SEBASTIAO CABOTO and FERNAO DE MAGALHAES, both deployed on Alianca’s ‘ALCT1’ Brazil cabotage service, which will no longer be calling at the port.
The SEBASTIAO CABOTO is anticipated to discharge its cargo this week in Vila do Conde, while the FERNAO DE MAGALHAES has already unloaded in Pecem, as reported by Alphaliner.
Additional vessels are also expected to offload their Manaus-bound cargoes at other regional ports, such as Pecem. These vessels include Log-In Logistica’s 2,700 TEU LOG-IN POLARIS and the 3,534 TEU BOMAR PRAIA operated by CMA CGM on its Amazon-Cartagena ‘Manaus Shuttle.’
Multimodal Transport Alternatives
According to Maersk, there is a limited alternative transportation option using a combination of truck-barge transport between Vila do Conde and Manaus available, except for hazardous and refrigerated cargoes. This solution involves loading goods onto vessels bound for Vila do Conde, where the cargo will be transferred to a barge for transportation to Manaus and subsequent delivery via our trucks. Projections suggest re-establishing port schedules at Manaus, with limited capacity, commencing from week 46.
The unusual dry season in the Amazon Region, exacerbated by the worst recorded lack of rain, is attributed to the El Niño climate phenomenon. Scientists warn that the return of the rainy season, typically occurring in November, may be delayed this year, leading to prolonged challenges for the approximately 500,000 inhabitants of the State of Amazonas and continued draft issues for the region’s ports.
Sources: Maersk, CMA CGM, MSC, Alphaliner