Antwerp - The port of Antwerp has signed a collaboration agreement with the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo aimed at further strengthening the good trade relations with that country. The agreement was signed today by Luc Arnouts, Chief Commercial Officer of Antwerp Port Authority, and Mr. Saulo de Castro Abreu Filho, Secretary of State for Transport and Logistics of Sao Paulo. Antwerp is already the market leader in trade between South America and Europe.
The ceremony was held on the occasion of Intermodal South America, an international trade exhibition with the focus on freight transport, logistics and foreign trade. The port of Antwerp is represented at this event by the Port Authority and various private sector players.
Brazil is a country with enormous potential that is expected to gain in significance in future, and the Antwerp port community is keen to further develop relations with this important trading partner.
The federal state of Sao Paulo for its part is home to Santos, the largest port in Latin America, along with Sao Sebastio, a port with large expansion plans. The agreement that has just been signed runs until the end of 2016. It fits in with Antwerp’s “supply chain approach” in which the port acts as a link in the overall supply chain, enabling customers at either end to reach their own customers quickly and efficiently, whether from Antwerp to Brazil or vice-versa.
CCO Luc Arnouts expects container freight in particular to experience strong growth: “Containers already make up 70% of the total freight volume of around 7 million tonnes annually, fairly evenly divided between imports and exports. And when it comes to container trade between Europe and South America, Antwerp is the market leader in the Hamburg – Le Havre range. In the case of Brazil the market share is as much as 45%.”
Within the Port Authority, Walter Van Mulders is responsible for development of trade with Brazil, for which he collaborates closely with Henrique Machado Rabelo, the port of Antwerp’s permanent representative in Brazil. In addition the port has two other representatives to cover Brazil and South America.
In the meantime, the port of Antwerp’s efforts towards sustainability have not gone unnoticed in Brazil. Thanks in part to the Environmental Award that it won recently during the World Ports & Trade Summit in Abu Dhabi, Antwerp has now been asked to help with the sustainable development of ports in Sao Paulo.
The excellent trade relations with Brazil have already led to various agreements made by APEC-Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center, a subsidiary of the Port Authority, for training Brazilian port professionals. These include an agreement with SEP, the Secretaria Especial de Portos da Presidencia da Republica.