Rumo, the logistics arm of world top sugar and ethanol producer Cosan , is literally planning ahead for a rainy day, installing covers at port terminals to allow loading of sugar in wet weather.
Last year, persistent rain at Brazil’s main sugar-handling ports held up bulk loading of raw sugar and extended unprecedented ship queues at unusually busy ports.
Rumo Logistica, whose terminals serve other local sugar producers as well as Cosan, will install one of two covers in the first half of this year at its northern terminal in Santos, just in time for the July-August peak of Brazil’s approaching cane harvest.
“Currently rains cause the terminal to cease operations for more than 90 days in the year, obligating ships to wait and causing congestion with trucks at the Santos complex,” Rumo said in a statement.
Bulk loading of sugar and other products has to be halted during the rain as even small amounts of moisture can cause the cargo to spoil during its long sea voyages.
“As well as alleviating the logistic bottleneck, the new structure should significantly increase sugar exports from the port,” it said.
The first cover to be installed will be a locally-designed ‘Eco-loading’, a tent-like canopy that completely covers bulk carriers’ holds individually, enables the loading spout to move around inside the hold as the tarpaulin reels in or extends.
Another cover to be installed at the southern terminal by the end of 2012, will be a rigid metal canopy large enough for Panamax and Cape Size ships to load underneath it. (Reuters)