Trucks carrying soya beans to the ports have been stuck on a stretch of highway BR-163, otherwise known as the “Soya Highway”, due to heavy rains according to the Brazilian Ministry of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation.
Due to the recent seasonal heavy rainfalls, a traffic jam started forming; leaving trucks loaded with soya beans stuck fast in the mud and unable to advance or return to point of origin. This has disrupted the supply chain to the ports and has led to congestion at ports exporting soya beans.
Conditions at the ports
The congestion currently affects the river port of Santarém and the ports of Vila do Conde, Baracarena and Belén. As a result, operators are now diverting vessels to ports in the south-eastern and southern regions which may lead to congestion at these ports in the next few weeks.
The National Department of Transport Infrastructure reports that the traffic jam is now clearing and that trucks are being pulled through the mud with the help of bulldozers and tractors. The traffic is expected to resume providing weather conditions improve. However, further rains are forecast for the next weeks and the congestion is likely to last the entire Brazilian summer albeit to a much lesser extent, according to industry sources.
Gard’s Members with vessels fixed to load soya beans at Brazilian ports are advised to take note of the above and to seek the most up to date information from their local ship’s agent and to ensure that:
If the Master is in any doubt about the condition of a soya bean cargo at any point during loading or during the voyage, or in the event of complaints at the discharge port, Gard should be contacted immediately.
We also refer to our Gard Alert of 26 October 2016 addressing Heat damage in soya bean cargoes - the importance of inspections which may be of interest.
We would like to thank Gard’s correspondents, Proinde in Santos, Brazil for their assistance in the preparation of this Alert.