Colombia is an upper middle-income economy, and Latin America’s fourth-largest economy measured by GDP. Petroleum is Colombia’s main export. The country’s principal trading partners are the US, China, the European Union, and some Latin American countries. Meanwhile, the US is the source of almost a quarter of Colombia’s imports. To export from the US to Colombia makes excellent business sense.

The country is also rich in natural resources, and its other main exports include mineral fuels, distillation products, and precious stones (Colombia is known as an important global source of emeralds), while over 70 percent of cut flowers imported by the United States are Colombian.

Colombia’s financial sector has grown favorably due to good liquidity in the economy, the growth of credit, and due in general to the positive performance of the Colombian economy. Colombia is also the best place for doing business in Latin America, according to the World Bank. It’s worth any exporter’s while to learn more about how to export from the US to Colombia.

Full Container (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

You will have two options when shipping a container to Colombia: groupage (a less-than-container load, or LCL), or a full container load (FCL).

Your shipping volume can help determine your most suitable choice. If the volume is equal to at least six standard pallets-a little over half a 20-foot container load-then a full container load (FCL) will be your best option. A 40-foot container can take up to 22 standard pallets; a 20-foot container accommodates 10 standard pallets.

Even if your shipping volume is small, FCL is also your best option if you want to ensure that your goods do not come in contact with other exporters’ merchandise during shipping.

If isolation of goods is not an issue, you may want to opt for shared container-goupage (LCL). That way, you will pay only for the space you need. Consult iContainers for rates and other important information.

Ocean Freight Routes to Colombia

Cartagena is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region. The Cartagena urban area is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country.

  • Port of Cartagena
    The port of Cartagena is Colombia’s main container port. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the port includes three open ports and over 40 private ports. The port covers over 425 acres of land, including almost 130 acres of warehouses. Cargo handled here includes the full range of commercial freight. In 2011, the Port of Cartagena handled over 2.4 million tons of cargo that included liquid bulk, solid bulk, general cargo, and containerized cargo. The port also served 5,031 passengers in 2011.

Air Freight Transportation to Colombia

If you are working against a short deadline or your shipment is urgent, air freight may be more appropriate to your needs than ocean freight. Air freight comes with some limitations in terms of volume and weight; consult the iContainers calculator to help you discover the right option for you.