According to sources, the German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd and Brazilian waterway logistics firm Norsul have joined forces in a groundbreaking 50/50 joint venture known as “Norcoast.” This new partnership aims to provide container cabotage and feeder services within Brazilian ports. Scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter of 2024, Norcoast has already received official approval as a ‘Brazilian Shipping Company,’ or EBN, thus allowing it to undertake cabotage business activities.
Hapag-Lloyd’s strategic entry into this venture is driven by the promising potential of the Brazilian coastal container sector, which boasted an impressive 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (Mteu) in the previous year.
Notably, Geneva-headquartered MSC made its mark in this market by acquiring Brazilian cabotage operator Log-In Logistica in 2022. This expansion was facilitated by the enactment of Brazil’s BR do Mar law in January 2022, which opened the doors to charter foreign vessels through wholly-owned foreign subsidiaries. The law’s primary objective is to boost cabotage transportation’s share in Brazil’s broader logistics landscape.
Maersk and CMA CGM, industry heavyweights, also established local Brazil-based carriers through Alianca and Mercosul, respectively.
Gustavo Paschoa, who brings an extensive background in the industry from Norsul, Damco, DSV, and Penske Logistics, will lead the newly formed joint venture company. Importantly, the venture has already secured the approval of Brazil’s antitrust regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).
It’s important to note that Norsul, which previously operated deep-sea container shipping activities, transitioned these operations to CSAV in 2002. Norsul is owned by Lorinvest and has strong ties to the former Norwegian-Brazilian shipowner Erling Lorentzen.
The creation of Norcoast represents a significant milestone in the Brazilian shipping and logistics landscape, as it seeks to capitalize on the nation’s burgeoning coastal container sector, positioning itself as a key player in this dynamic industry.
For more updates on Norcoast and the evolving shipping industry in Brazil, stay tuned to leading news sources.