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Brazilian Pilots in Megaship Safety Row

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Brazilian pilots have expressed concerns relating to the safety of mega-ships that berth at the Port of Santos, as well as other Brazilian ports.

Brazilian pilots claim that insufficient dredging at Santos makes it unsafe for vessels such as the CMA CGM Tigris, which is 300 metres long and 48.2 metres wide, to navigate the port’s channel.

Conpra, the Brazilian national pilots association, is pressing the Brazilian Navy to restrict longer and wider vessels that require greater drafts.

Claudio Loureiro, Executive President of Centronave, which represents foreign-flag shipowners operating in Brazil, has blasted Conpra’s idea to reduce the size of ships berthing at the port from 336 metres down to 266 metres, saying that there could be “dire consequences” for Santos. 

One step closer to resilient marine navigation

Loureiro said: “These views do a disservice to the port community of Santos. Freight costs have been systematically falling over the past few years in all trades lanes due to intense competition between the shipowners that transfer the benefits that economies of scale can provide. It is clear that the costs per unit carried [will] increase if we reduce the size of vessels.”

The move by Conapra is “retaliation” against attempts by the government to regulate pilot services in Brazil and reduce their excessive costs, according to the JOC.

Santos Port Authority is about to announce a new tender for dredging and, once completed, the gap between what size of vessel is allowed and what the pilots are happy with will likely narrow.

(Source: Vodafone)

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