Slow port activity in the first half of 2012, 22th August 2012
Venezuelan ports cannot cope with the current volume of imports. Since 2010 ports operations have slowed down while obstacles increase. This is evident in the length of time freight has spent in ports over the last two years, according to a joint report by the Venezuelan Confederation of Industries (Conindustria) and the National Council for Trade and Services (Consecomercio). For instance, in 2010 freights average time in Venezuela's main port Puerto Cabello on the central coast was 18.8 days, and in a year's time the number of days jumped to 20.8. For its part, the second major port in La Guaira, north Venezuela, showed some improvement in 2010-2011, 23.3 days and 21.3 days respectively. However, the report details that in the first half of the year, "congestion" in ports recorded an average increase of up to five days. Growing congestion has been reported in major ports of Venezuela mainly due to non-planed imports and particularly large amounts of food imported by the Venezuelan Government. Additionally, the lack of machinery is also attributed to the delays in ports. The figures show that 10 containers per hour are downloaded from freight ships while in neighboring countries they amount to 40.