Brazil's Container Shipping Sector Undergoes Changes

Friday, September 10, 1999
Brazil's container shipping sector is undergoing another scene change as players in the sector again change partners. Carriers Transroll Navegacao and Alianca Transportes Maritimos SA are to launch a Brazilian coastal service following the collapse of an agreement between Transroll and bulk shipping group Docefrota, according to sources at the companies. The news follows weeks of speculation about talks between the two Rio de Janeiro based companies and various other Brazilian shipping lines. Rival carriers Docenave, Global Transporte Oceanico, Frota Oceanica y Amazonica, Neptunia Companhia de Navegacao have all been involved in talks regarding coastal services, known as cabotage, shipping sources say. The latest development - an every 15 days service from Rio Grande to Manaus - comes after Transroll and Docefrota, a joint venture between bulk shipping giant Docenave and Frota Oceanica y Amazonica, decided to end their container charter agreement after just over two months. Akira Katsuragi, director of new business and planning at Docenave and Docefrota, said the demise of that agreement did not signal an exit by the bulk shipper from liner shipping. The departure in June of former company president Nelson Carlini, who took Docenave into container shipping, had led to speculation of a withdrawal. But Katsuragi, who said Docefrota had lost money on the trade, said, "We are not leaving the containerized sector. We have simply ended that agreement with Transroll and decided to go it alone." "Our new president Alvaro Oliveira Junior was keen to do this. Our parent CVRD has a strategy to develop intermodal and logistics in Brazil and containers are important to that." Docenave broke off talks with the other Brazilian lines - there was talk of all of them merging into one joint venture - shortly after Carlini departed. Alianca, which was bought out this year by the German Oetke group, has been working closely with Transroll since taking over the latter's northern Europe to East Coast South America business three months ago. Oetke also owns major South American north-south traders Germany-based Hamburg Sud and Columbus Line. The new Vessel Sharing Agreement between Alianca and Transroll will involve two vessels calling at Rio Grande, Sao Francisco do Sul, Santos, Recife, Fortaleza and Manaus northbound and Fortaleza, Recife, Santos and Rio Grande southbound.
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