Still room for Sepetiba in latest box pecking order

Many Brazilian port watchers are fearful for the future of the Sepetiba Tecon box terminal once the Hamburg Sud facility opens at Itapoa - probably in around the first quarter of 2010.

But Davi Emery Cade, the president of Sepetiba Tecon container terminal, says that if Hamburg Sud does move much of its cargo away - and he is not even certain that will necessarily happen - there is still so much going in Sepetiba Tecon's favour that its prosperous future is assured.

"You can't beat the natural deepwater draught that we have here," he proclaims. "And that is why I believe totally in Sepetiba. The only port you can compare us to is Suape, which I believe will also one day become a hub port."

And in any case Sepetiba Tecon is not just dependent on Hamburg Sud.

MSC has been amassing much of its transhipment cargo in Sepetiba for the southeast region of Brazil, to complement its building up of Navegantes (in which is it's understood to have an interest), as its transhipment hub in the south.

Sepetiba Tecon currently operates with four ship-to-shore gantry cranes and to show it has faith in the future, Mr Emery Cade is now in the process of ordering two more - as well as a number of transtainers - to be installed on a third pier (Pier 301), which will be fully available toSepetiba Tecon from later this year. The total investment, in the pier and new equipment will be in the region of $50M.

And Mr Emery Cade believes too that proximity to the key installations of CSN (for steel) and Vale (for iron ore) also gives Sepetiba Tecon an advantage over other container terminals.

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