QCOSTARICA – The long announced ferry between the Central American Pacific ports of Costa Rica and El Salvador could be ready to start operations, according to a joint statement by Naviera Bajos del Odiel and the Government of Costa Rica.
The story of this sea route started in August 2013, when “… the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) confirmed that at the end of November an agreement with the Spanish company Naviera del Odiel had been finalised for the start of ferry operations connecting the port of La Union to Puerto Corinto, in Nicaragua.” This project never materialized, apparently because of unwillingness on the part of the government of Nicaragua.
In January 2015 the same shipping company reappeared, announcing that early that year it would operate a cargo ferry between the ports of La Union in El Salvador and Caldera in Costa Rica.
Yesterday’s announcement, on March 17, established that in July “or sooner if possible”, operations would start of between those ports.
The cost of US$800 per container could drop depending on the number of containers that each company transports. The volume of cargo transported, according to the frequency of operations planned, 3 per week carrying 100 trucks per trip, represents little more than 20% of the total volume of the current land cargo transported between Costa Rica and the area under influence of La Union Port .
According to Javier Villafante, President of the Spanish shipping company Odiel, “… The expectation we have is to mobilize 60 boxcars in the first 3 months in each direction of travel, then 80 boxcars up to 100 trucks in the first six months of operation. The journey from La Union to Caldera not only benefits Costa Rica and El Salvador, but also the cargo that comes from Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras, going southwards.”