News: Brazil congestion boosts bulk freight rates

News & Insights 6 April 2021


We have been informed by our local correspondent that there are currently more than 100 bulkers waiting at major Brazilian ports to load either iron ore or grains. This comprises of about 67 ore carriers at Ponta da Madeira and Itaqui and about 68 bulkers, mostly panamaxes, at Santos.

Man on yellow ladder

​Brazil congestion - Ponta da Madeira, Itaqui & Santos

We have been informed by our local correspondent that there are currently more than 100 bulkers waiting at major Brazilian ports to load either iron ore or grains. This comprises of about 67 ore carriers at Ponta da Madeira and Itaqui and about 68 bulkers, mostly panamaxes, at Santos.

Several factors have triggered the abnormal delays. Separate collision and fire incidents at the port of Ponta da Madeira, along with restrictions due to Covid-19, have disrupted cargo operations. Adding to the causes of delay was the slow planting and grain harvest affecting the availability of cargo and the current rainy season in northern Brazil hindering loading operations.

Delays are expected to last into the coming months with ships potentially waiting for several weeks before being able to berth. Market sources report that the port congestion is hampering bulker supply and driving up freight rates, particularly for supramax and handysize bulkers.

Members should contact their local agents and correspondents for the latest information in Brazil. If you have any questions about this alert, please contact your usual claims handler for further assistance.

We thank our correspondent Williams Brothers Ltda. for their assistance with this update.​

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