Colombia has become one of the most dynamic economies in the American continent. Due to the increase of petroleum exports, there has been a quick commercial take-off, with a peak in the freight forwarding service to Colombia.
For its special geographic position, with shores both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, most of the exports of Colombia are made through its seaports. The improvement in these infrastructures has allowed a competitive development for the maritime transport to Colombia, thus gaining both in quality and in productivity.
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when planning a maritime transport to Colombia is whether doing it in a Full Container Load (FCL) or in a Less Container Load (LCL), also known as groupage.
Shipping a container to Colombia does not mean that you have to fill it completely, using the maximum capacity is ideally which will be described below. Your goods will not be share with any other exporter, which means you will avoid any contamination problems of any type as this only your load. Anyhow, it is usually less expensive, but if you are sending 6 standard pallets in a 20-ft container, or 12 standard pallets (or more) in a 40-ft container, the most profitable solution for shipping freight to Colombia is the Full Container Load (FCL).
Keep in mind, that iContainers offers the best rates for sending a container to Colombia.
Seaports have a very active role in the development of trade operations in Colombia. Nowadays, more than 90% of the Colombian imports and exports are made through seaports.
Colombia has nine port areas, seven of them along the Caribbean Coast: la Guajira, Santa Marta, Ciénaga, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Golfo de Morrosquillo, Urabá y San Andrés, and two along the Pacific Coast: Buenaventura and Tumaco. In the Caribbean area we can highlight:
The Port of Cartagena consolidated as the great logistics and international transfer seaport in Colombia, specialized in the container trade. It has major public use terminals, such as the Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena (CONTECAR), Muelles El Bosque and the Puerto de Mamonal
Cartagena is the leading port in the container exports towards the United States, with 47% of the overall activity. Its other activity is the cruise tourism industry: 150 cruises arrive per year and it’s a port of embarkation for Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The Port of Barranquilla is the largest multipurpose port on the Colombian Caribbean Coast, used both for cargo and for containers. It has a 1058-meter linear dock and another one of 550 meters for fluvial crafts. Besides that, it is the only Colombian port in the Atlantic Coast with railroad, which allows load and unload operations directly in the docks.
This is the main port on the Pacific Coast for Colombia. It has been declared as Special Free Trade Zone and is the first port of its type that enjoys such benefits so the firms in the Terminal must pay only a 15% tax against the traditional 32%. It has 12 docks and stands out for its importance for the foreign trade of Colombia.
Other ports towards you can make your ocean exports to Colombia are the Ports of Santa Marta, Quibdó, Tumaco, Coveñas and Turbo.