In northern Chile, the privately owned and operated Puerto Caldera Terminal is to invest $23m in both new handling equipment and expanded facilities to cater to growth in export fruit traffic which rose from 30,000 tonnes last year to 50,000 tonnes in 2018.
Iron exports could also restart, which could result in Caldera handling around one million tonnes annually. Five years ago, iron ore traffic amounted to 1.4m tonnes.
The port also expects to be handling Argentinian traffic, having already had discussions to this effect with Hapag-Lloyd. By switching to Caldera, some exporters could see shipping times to China reduced to just 30 days compared with 45-60 days from the current port of Buenos Aires.
Hapag Lloyd also has an alliance with the port to move locally mined copper and fruit grown in Copiapó to Asia.