Q COSTA RICA – After years of waiting, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) – Ministry of Public Works and Transportation – informed that the cargo ferry (ferri in Spanish) between El Salvador and Costa Rica will commence in August, as part of the plan that seeks to expedite the passage of goods in Central America.
The initial trip will depart from Puerto La Unión (El Salvador) and will arrive the day next to Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica).
In the first stage, two weekly trips will be made, with a capacity of 1,950 linear meters, approximately 100 trucks
Faster transfers, cost reduction and greater competitiveness are part of the benefits of this new service.
“The first trip of this ship will take place this August when it departs from La Unión port in El Salvador to arrive the next day at Caldera port in our country… without a doubt, its operation will improve the competitiveness of both countries at a region by establishing a new route for exports and imports, faster, safer and cheaper,” said the minister, Luis Amador.
Currently, more than 95% of trade in Central America uses land transportation by road through the so-called “Pacific Corridor” (2,461 km). The transportation of merchandise by land, from the Colon Free Zone, Panama, to Guatemala implies a fragmented journey with 10 stops, for immigration, customs and sanitary inspection procedures, which requires about 5 days of travel.
The trip between the two ports is estimated to take about 16 hours, navigating at an average speed of 17 knots, with 2 maritime posts against 6 land border posts
The ferry will be operated by Blue Way Corporation, a private company, providing service on Mondays and Thursdays leaving El Salvador and Tuesdays and Fridays leaving from Costa Rica.
The specific start date has yet to be announced.
The country’s investment for this plan is US$2 million, and includes other measures such as simplifying procedures, the MOPT said in a press release.