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Deepsea calls return to flood-hit Itajai port

Rio de Janeiro: More than six weeks after the tragic floods of the River Itajai Acu struck the Brazilian port of Itajai, killing around 130 in the state of Santa Catarina, the port has opened up to deepsea vessels for the first time, and NYK Line's Estebroker (a 2,500teu vessel operating on the East Coast of South America trade to Asia), was loaded at the Brazilian port complex last week.
 
However, "normal operations" cannot be expected to resume until between one more and three months, depending on the dredging of the debris from the floods that still lines the River Itajai-Acu.

The river and its channel serves Itajai and also the Portonave box facility in Navegantes, where the Esteborker is berthed and where fellow NYK Line vessel, the 1,100teu capacity Sanuki, which is deployed on the ECSA to US trade, berthed on Wednesday of this week, the first Asian carrier to return to the flood-stricken port.
 
NYK Line confirmed to Seatrade Asia Online that the company was operating its vessels in Itajai with a restricted draft of 8.4 metres, and that it had been informed that full operations and draft would return to Itajai in another 50 days.
 
A line manager with the Japanese carrier said: "We loaded some lumber and frozen chicken and glad to be able to call at Itajai with deepsea vessels, as the alternative, Sao Francisco do Sul, was becoming very congested with all the overflow from Itajai."
 
The Estebroker is one of eight NYK Line vessels deployed in the ECSA to Asia trade, in the line's joint service with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), which provides two container vessels in the service.  [13/01/09]
 

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