AN AWARD for a port in central America has lessons for the broader international ports community, a senior executive says.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean voted Puerto Cortés, operated by Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana (the Honduran subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services), as the best maritime terminal in Central America and 24th best in Latin America.

Statistics provided by ICTSI showed container cargo movement at OPC grew 4.5% in 2018 over the previous year. ICTSI also operates the VICT terminal in Melbourne.

OPC chief executive Mariano Turnes said the recent port rankings underscored ICTSI’s commitment towards the development of Honduras’ largest port.


“Puerto Cortés is an example of what can be achieved through a public-private partnership and with the support of ICTSI, one of the world’s leading box port operators,” Mr Turnes said.

“The investments made by OPC, which amounts to more than US$250m in infrastructure and technology, have contributed to the port’s efficiency and competitiveness, enabling higher productivity and safer operations based on international standards and competitive rates at the regional level.”

Mr Turnes said the region had tremendous potential.

“We understand the development of logistics, and see the opportunity that can be offered for the benefit of Central American countries,” he said.

“We have a robust investment plan for the modernization and development of Puerto Cortés.”

In 2018, ICTSI finished its US$145m Pier 6 development for OPC, representing the first phase of expansion work in Puertos Cortes.

More large-scale projects are said to be “in the pipeline”.

Across the region, container throughput in Latin America and Caribbean ports increased by 7.7% in 2018 in comparison with the previous year, according to the same report.

Total volume in 2018 exceeded 53.2m TEUs, which represents 7.1% of global throughput.

CEPAL, which publishes annual port rankings annually, covers 31 countries and 118 ports in Latin and Central America.