Perspectives of Brazilian navigation

  • 23/04/2019
  • 10 minutes

On the Brazilian navigation sphere, 2019 brings good news. Learn about the main perspectives for the segment and understand why maritime transport and shipbuilding are growing in Brazil.

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The Brazilian navigation market is heating up and entered 2019 with good perspectives. Between auctions that attract foreign companies and greater visibility for maritime merchandise transport services, Brazil matures a promising segment that’s sailing further and further away.

We’ve talked to Bruno Lima Rocha, Institutional Relationship Director at Wilson Sons and president of Syndarma, the National Syndicate of Maritime Navigation Companies. With optimism, he explains the perspectives f Brazilian navigation. Check it out!

The change in mentality about transportation and navigation in Brazil

For a long time, there was little talk about Brazilian navigation as a solution for merchandise transport in the country. However, Brazil has been going through a change in the mindset about cargo transportation.

Transport by cabotage and multimodal transport are now being more considered, especially after the truckers strike in May 2018. Nowadays, 65% of all cargo in Brazil is moved by truck. This indicates that there is still a very large margin to be reconsidered in cargo transportation in Brazil.

Lima Rocha is optimistic. “After the truckers strike, many clients started looking at navigation as a viable alternative for transporting their products throughout the country.”

According to him, container cabotage has been growing in an impressive way for a long time, with growth rates above 12% per year. “For some time now, it [cabotage] has been taking cargo from trucks to ships”, celebrates the director.

He also emphasizes the competitiveness of maritime transport in relation to transport by road. “For long distances (Santos-Manaus, Recife-Rio Grande), more than a thousand kilometers, a ship is already absolutely competitive for container transport”.

This change in understanding about cargo transport tends to increase in the next few years, as the positive results become more and more visible.

The increase of trust in maritime transport

Security in merchandise transport is one of the main points that charterers look for. Companies such as oil and gas ones, for example, emphasize the importance of operational security when signing any contract, which is normal.

Therefore, maritime transport has been more and more considered. In this aspect, cabotage maintains one of the highest rates of security among the modals present in Brazil.

When observing the risks of road transport, for example, it is evidenced that the most secure way for an item to be delivered is through Brazilian navigation.

All of this also impacts insurance renewal and the final cost of the merchandise. This, in the end, leads to a more competitive market price. Operation security is a value that Wilson Sons is proud to demonstrate its excellence in.

A greater number of operations with large ships

In June 2018, the Port of Salvador was authorized to operate with large ships (333 meters and 366 meters wide in the container terminal). This achievement made the port become the second one in the country to carry such an authorization.

In this way, the port gained in competitiveness and is now able to welcome a new class of ships and operations. This situation catches the interest of local and foreign investors.

Navigation’s positive relationship with the environment

“We have one of the easiest coasts to navigate, because of our special climatic conditions”, declares Lima Rocha.

Cargo transport, when thought of in a multimodal way and often making use of Brazilian navigation, optimizes costs and time and still saves natural resources.

In that way, Brazilian navigation started to be perceived by many as a more ecological transportation, which also generates value for the service and more engagement for professionals in the area.

Work optimization with technology

A question that’s discussed in any market activity is bureaucracy. The need for many papers, even if fundamental, can reduce the optimization of any work.

For that, Brazilian navigation has been taking large steps and technology has been put into action. “We are unbureaucratizing the entering and leaving of ports”, explains the director. For him, computers and satellite connection have been largely helping reduce document production time and can contribute even further to diminish any eventual losses of time and to optimize the process.

The auctions that will drive shipbuilding

In 2018, some Brazilian offshore companies still had boats at rest, with little demand. However, the scenario began to change.

For 2019, there are high hopes for the auctioning of oil provinces. This would increase even more the search for support ships, which also generates a great movement for shipbuilding. “Therefore, the stock of ships will be consumed until 2020, most likely”, indicates Lima Rocha.

He continues, “when it comes to tugboats, with the growth of GNP, more ships will cross into Brazilian ports”, According to Lima Rocha, tugboats are not going through a crisis and neither is cabotage. And the perspectives for this year for those Brazilian navigation actors are even more optimistic.

Brazilian navigation facing the future

The universe of Brazilian navigation tends to expand. For Lima Rocha, growth will surpass even the highest expectations — “container cabotage has been growing a lot and will still grow even more”. According to him, the prediction is of 25% per year.

When it comes to port support, to tugboats, and to shipbuilding, the expectation is also of growth. “It’s natural for them to grow due to the growth in the Brazilian navigation segments and in the GNP”, foresees Lima Rocha.

The Brazilian GNP registered a 1% growth in the last trimester of 2018. In the service sphere, the highest growth points were registered precisely in the segments of transport (2.5%) and commerce (1.3%).

The perspective is that the GNP keeps evolving in 2019. From that, the increase of demand for maritime transport and shipbuilding will lead Brazilian navigation to embark on a trail of business advancement. “The perspective is absolutely positive”, concludes Lima Rocha.

If you want to know more about the work of Brazilian navigation, the solutions it looks for and its perspectives, check out also our article about shipping agencies and why it’s important to hire one.