The former Minister of Finance, Ignacio Briones, explained on Twitter why maritime cabotage (cargo transport by sea between two ports) exclusively for national companies, reduces competition and benefits only certain transport companies, such as the category of truckers.
the recent truckers strike revived the debate regarding alternative means of transporting cargo, something to which the former minister referred Ignacio Brioneswho proposes release maritime cabotage (or port).
It should be remembered that on other occasions when truckers have also stopped, other ideas have arisen such as strengthening the trains, even with a railway plan promoted by the current Government.
What is port cabotage?
According to a file from the National Library of Congressthe port cabotageis understood as the maritime transport between points of the national territory, allowed only to national companies, and limited to foreign ships.
The same thing that ex-presidential candidate Ignacio Briones explained on Twitter, who explained that the maritime cabotage (as it is also known) is the transport of cargo by sea between Chilean ports, and which by law is restricted only to Chilean-flagged ships.
According to economist, this practice decreases competition and increases rates. In addition, he mentioned that it makes both maritime companies in Chile and truckers happy.
He also emphasized that maintaining the exclusive maritime cabotage for national companies, it costs the State between 300 and 400 million dollars a year.
The recent truckers strike has once again made us talk about alternative means of transporting cargo in Chile. A fundamental one, although unknown to many, is maritime cabotage. I have already tweeted about this, but today -at the request of several- we will double click…
— Ignacio Briones (@ignaciobriones_) November 27, 2022
What is Ignacio Briones’ solution?
To exemplify a case of maritime cabotage, the former head of the Treasury, explained: “a foreign ship arrives in San Antonio loaded with cars. Unload and then go to Antofagasta to load copper (export). But it turns out that he makes the trip empty, since by law he cannot take the opportunity to take, let’s say, fruit or clothing.
For this reason, the solution would be a 2021 bill, which “liberalizes maritime cargo cabotage and opens it to foreign-flagged ships.”
“Beyond the example, this is about, once in Chile, that foreign ship can be used and compete with Chilean-flagged ships to move cargo within Chile. And as we know, more competition equals better rates,” she added.
Lastly, Briones asked the Government to give urgency to the aforementioned project of port cabotage.