An agreement that is aimed at guaranteeing tariffs in the order of $ 0.15 per box of banana that is transferred from the truck to the ship’s warehouse, is what the Ecuadorian Government and the concessionaire of the Puerto Bolívar, Yilportecu SA The value will be valid until 2021, the date on which it is expected to have defined the operational model change by container.
The understanding reached under the endorsement of President Lenin Moreno, through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, is the result of dialogue and consensus among the parties, after reviewing the proposals that were presented by the producer and exporter sector.
In Puerto Bolívar, a week, an average of 1.5 million boxes of fruit are exported, through the system of transfer of boxes to bulk (from the truck to the ship), a process that the authorities are committed to changing in 2021 for a more efficient and safer model. The definition of the cost of this transfer generated for months a dispute between the concessionaire and exporters of bananas, since the initial proposal of Yilport was to progressively raise this rate until reaching $ 0.28. A cost that for the producers means a loss of competitiveness.
The issue was addressed last Wednesday in the auditorium of the Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar (APPB) during a working meeting between its manager, David Mejía, and representatives of trade unions of exporters and banana producers. There it was informed that the technicians of APPB and the concessionaire will continue making calculations to continue adjusting the rest of tariffs for port services, with the eagerness to obtain competitive costs and that keep relation with those that charge other Ecuadorian ports, especially Contecon de Guayaquil.
The agreement would be signed in the coming days and according to Paúl González, head of the Machala Agricultural Center, which groups together more than 400 small and medium-sized banana producers, it would benefit both producers and exporters.
David Mejía, manager of the Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar, highlighted the “successful process of dialogue and negotiation” that was arranged by the President of the Republic and that allowed, finally, to reach a strategic agreement with YilportEcu. The aim: to guarantee the competitiveness of the banana export sector, he said.
“This will allow us to have competitive rates at the level of all the ports of Ecuador and the world, which reflects that we are attending one by one the orders of the sectors, both the producer and the exporter.” This agreement will imply that the tariffs for the port services related to the banana box will not increase in the coming years, until the change of the operational model by containers is finalized. (I)