Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Amazon drought disrupts river navigation

amazon river drought
Climate change is affecting navigation on the Amazon River where a severe drought is disrupting barge traffic on the Tapajos River in the Amazon rainforest as shipping agencies told clients to expect delays this week.

According to ReutersCargonave told clients the vessel MV Bravery, which was supposed to anchor at Santaremport to load corn in Para state, was affected.  According to their data, the MV Bravery was shown as due to arrive at Santarem on Oct 10. It will now berth on Oct. 25, when it is due to take almost 56,000 metric tons of corn to Iran. The agent further said that the draft of private ports on the banks of the Tapajos river is at the lowest levels ever.

Amport, a group representing Amazonian private port operators including Cargill ABNO.UL and Louis Dreyfus Company LOUDR.UL, said barge convoys are reducing their loads by 50% on the Madeira river and 40% on the Tapajos, respectively. Reducing loads is normal during the dry season but by a smaller proportion, Amport said.

The main seaports receiving grain cargos from inland rivers are Itacoatiara, Santarem and Barcarena, and they are operating normally, Amport said, Reuters reported.

CMA CGM has expressed concerns regarding the gravity of navigational conditions in the Amazon River. According to the company representative, the situation has become alarming, preventing container vessels from accessing the port.

"The river is currently facing navigational challenges due to a substantial reduction in its water levels. This issue is affecting cargo transportation along the river, particularly at the Port of Manaus." said CMA CGM.

In response to this situation, CMA CGM has been forced to divert its vessels, specifically the Bomar Praia and Marfret Guyane, to alternative ports. The first vessel is scheduled to head to Pecém, with an estimated arrival date of 15 October, while the second vessel will be heading to Fortaleza and is expected to arrive on 18 October.

The cargoes on these vessels will be transported to Manaus as soon as the water levels become suitable. CMA CGM is actively working on alternative solutions to mitigate the impact of these restrictions.

The disruptions on the Amazon River follow an already challenging situation in the Panama Canal which predicts it may persist into 2024.

TAGS: Ports