The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted global trade routes and markets in 2020. Chile responded through a public-private alliance and has implemented strict health protocols to maintain a functioning export logistics chain without putting personnel or cargo at risk.
Port, shipping, land transport companies, and the authorities have applied contingency plans to minimize any negative impact of the pandemic, guaranteeing the continuity of operations.
The Chilean port maritime union ensures that the country continues to operate smoothly and without significant changes for imports and exports, as well as for the national supply system.
Based on the information provided by this union, as well as the data collected by the entire national ProChile network throughout the country, it is possible to reveal the following summary of the critical production areas:
In Arica, there have been no significant obstacles for foreign trade, both maritime and land, despite the mandatory quarantine that affects the city’s urban radius. Arica’s port is operating normally, and ground transportation to neighboring countries continues with defined schedules.
Iquique is also fully operational. The ports Iquique Terminal Internacional (ITI) and Empresa Portuaria Iquique (EPI) maintain normal activity, with strict security measures for shipping and receiving cargo. Sanitary controls have been intensified to secure national shipments, generating some delays in the processes.
Antofagasta maintains logistical operations among customs and ports, taking all necessary measures to guarantee the continuity of services.
Atacama is operating normally with fully functioning ports, both for mining cargo and other goods, as well as routes to ports in regions such as San Antonio.
Meanwhile, the Coquimbo Region is conducting harvests and exports. SAG sites for USDA certifications operate as required and undergo inspections on Saturdays to ensure safety and efficiency.
In the Valparaíso Region, all ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio are operating normally. Empresa Puerto Valparaíso mobilized significant cargo volumes (2.2 million tons in the first quarter), reflecting the operational normality of its terminals and the logistics support area, despite challenging situations in the country and the world.
In the Metropolitan Region, some delays have been reported for the movement of land cargo. This is due to the strict inspection of sanitary controls by branch authorities. Additionally, there are minor delays for air shipments at the Arturo Merino Benítez Airport.
The logistics of the O’Higgins and Maule regions operate with absolute normality, with continuous shipments of dried and pomaceous fruits.
The Ñuble and Biobío regions have adopted new logistical operation and sanitary control measures, without reporting any difficulties for loading to date. Cargo transportation in ports and the Carriel Sur de Concepción Airport is operating as usual.
The regions of Araucanía and Los Ríos report that their logistics and distribution chain are functioning normally. Despite increased sanitation measures, the movement of exportable products from La Araucanía to the ports improved their transit speed and logistics performance compared to past weeks.
The Los Lagos Region, Chile’s primary aquaculture zone, reports that shipments to Asian markets are moving towards a normal flow. In the region, there are strict sanitary control measures to ensure the safety of logistics officials and cargo.
No cargo transit problems have been reported in the Aysén Region. Five weekly cargo flights from Tuesday through Saturday are scheduled to accommodate high shipment volumes.
While in the Magallanes Region, all ports operate with absolute normality. Food exporters report high operational efficiency despite an increase in safety measures.
The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Customs Service, the country’s police, shipping agencies, DIRECTEMAR, regional health authorities, and the health services of each organization have participated in logistics and port security efforts to ensure the continuity of Chile’s foreign trade.