Shipping Alert South America: San Antonio, Chile Port Operations

Operations at both container terminals (STI and Puerto Central) at San Antonio are closed today due to weather conditions (strong winds and high surf).  In addition, stevedores union at Puerto Central / DP World initiated an indefinite strike yesterday after failing to reach an agreement for port workers contracts.   

Services out of the West Coast of South America have already been experiencing delays as operational productivity has been reduced by labor restrictions/safety protocols and periodical weather conditions in San Antonio.  Ports all along the coast of Chile are subject to storm surges from the Pacific coast, but San Antonio suffers the most, with 54 intermittent closures in 2020.  

Chile to the US East Coast – this shipping lane has seen substantial delays for bookings as they operate out of San Antonio due to the size of the Eurosal vessels (these services call North America on the Europe bound schedules).  Depending on the developing situation with San Antonio, carriers could skip scheduled port calls there or evaluate service changes required to operate out of Valparaiso.

Chile to the US West Coast – these services do not have to contend with the Panama Canal transport windows; however, these services are highly congested due to the transshipment delays in Panama or Mexico.  Sailings to Vancouver are severely restricted for the next 4-6 weeks until Hapag-Lloyd re-establishes services.

With the current conditions, plan for additional delays for booking and consider cargo protection with Hillebrand Vinliner insulation or operating reefer (if available) for temperature sensitive shipments. 

Note that any bookings from Mendoza Argentina sailing via Chilean ports will be impacted by port delays as well as frequent road closures and restricted hours for cross-Andres road transport.   

Please reach out to your Hillebrand representative for further information on your bookings and lead times from South America.