15/08/2016 14h48 - Updated 15/08/2016 14h48

Low Wood River affects cargo transport between Amazonas and Rondônia

The Navy of Brazil restricted navigation in Madeira Waterway between Porto Velho and Humaitá, not Amazonas.
Photo: Press Release / Dnit
Photo: Press Release / Dnit

Severe drought has caused historic reduction in the level of the Madeira River, Bathing the states of Amazonas and Rondônia. With low water levels, vessels have reduced about 30% the capacity of transported cargo to continue browsing. Navigation difficulties almost doubled the Manaus travel time to Porto Velho (RO).

The Madeira River reached level 2,28 meters in Porto Velho Monday (15). The quota is the lowest recorded in the beginning of August the last 10 years. Last year, on the same date, Rio Madeira was 9,48 meters.

The low level of the Madeira River have generated restrictions for IWT. The Navy of Brazil restricted navigation in Madeira Waterway between Porto Velho and Humaitá, not Amazonas. There was suspension of night navigation vessels trains in the stretch of river located in Rondônia.

The measure was determined on 13 July, after naval inspectors check critical points where the level of the Madeira River was just over two meters. The low level of water poses a risk to navigation and reduces seaworthiness.

For navigation the low level of the Madeira River water has caused negative impacts on passenger boats. According to the Association of Inland Navigation Companies in Amazonas State (Sindarma), the negative impact is greatest in cargo transportation. The travel time increased and the shipping companies need to cut about 30% capacity of cargo transported on ships to continue browsing.

Average, the travel time for the Madeira River from Manaus to Porto Velho was four days, but ferries carrying fuel, grain and other products now sail up to seven days to fulfill the path. In the opposite direction (Porto Velho-Manaus), which before it was eight days, passed to 15 days travel time.

The Madeira River is one of the main logistics corridors in the country and part of the Northern Arc. The Madeira Waterway is the flow of agricultural production, mainly soybeans and Mato Grosso and Rondonia corn, and inputs such as fuel and fertilizers, bound for Porto Velho and Manaus. Besides food and products produced in the Manaus Free Trade Zone.

Despite the difficulties to carry loads, there is still no shortage forecast Manaus and not increase freight prices. “We have to increase the travel time Manaus to Porto Velho and in the opposite direction, and a reduction of loads on the ferries so that vessels sailing with draft relieved, but we have no shortage and no increase in freight. Of course we have an increase in the cost of travel, up due to the reduction of load capacity, but it is being absorbed by transport companies”, said the vice president of Sindarma, Claudomiro Carvalho Filho.

Dredging at critical points of the river could have minimized the effects of drought, ensuring the sailing conditions in the dry season. however, two years ago the service is not performed and the National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT) should only begin dredging next year.

“If there was a periodic dredging on the Madeira River to reduce silting and sandbars, seaworthiness the same remain in the dry season. We have charged the completion of dredging, which is an urgent need”, He emphasized the President of Sindarma, Galdino Alencar Junior.

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