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Interview with the Port of Valparaiso (EN)
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Interview with DB Schenker Chile CEO
Interview with DB Schenker Chile Head of Ocean Freight
Founded in 1536 by conquistador Juan de Saavedra, who named it for his birthplace in Spain, Valparaíso, Chile lies on the south side of a broad, open bay of the Pacific Ocean, 84 miles northwest of the national capital of Santiago. The city stands on the slopes of a semicircular spur of the coastal mountain range that ends in the rocky peninsula of Point Angeles.
Known as the Jewel of the Pacific, this beautiful city is also home to Chile’s legislative Congress, the Chilean Navy’s headquarters and the Port of Valparaíso. The port is managed by Empresa Portuaria Valparaíso (Valparaíso Port Authority), including all of the assets inherent to port sector related activities and indispensable to proper compliance. Valparaíso Port Authority maintains three concession contracts with major companies to operate parts of the port under the guidance of the administration of Valparaíso Port Authority.
The Port of Valparaíso can handle containers, liquids and bulk cargo, with its primary imports including chemical products, food and vehicles. The port’s main exports are copper, wine, frozen food and fruit. Roughly 10,000,000 tons of cargo and 460,000 passengers move through the port every year, with its largest vessel handled being the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), which is 963 feet long with a 32-foot draft.
Supporting a Busy Region
A maritime terminal that’s bustling with activity, the Port of Valparaíso boasts the highest passenger arrivals in Chile and the second-highest container movement (after San Antonio). The port transfers more than 10 million tons of general cargo annually and over 30% of all the country’s foreign trade passes through its terminals.
Built on steep hillsides, the Port of Valparaiso is a labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and streets, and is considered a treasure of cultural and architectural history. In 2003, the country’s Congress made it “Chile’s Cultural Capital” and also the home of Chile’s new cultural ministry. Over 263,000 people live in the Port of Valparaiso, and over 892,000 reside in the Greater Valparaiso metropolitan area.
During Chile’s 4-month-long summer season, the Port of Valparaíso serves about 40 cruise ships and roughly 100,000 visitors. Divided into a commercial port (mainly containerized cargo) and a citizen port (for cruises), the port has dedicated space for these activities, which have their own space—separated from the other—with facilities and specialized personnel. According to MarineTraffic, the types of vessels regularly calling at the port include container ships (38%), general cargo ships (17%), and bulk carriers (14%).
An Important Urban Center
According to World Port Source, the Port of Valparaiso is one of Chile’s most important urban centers. A center of education, the region has nine universities and its most important industries are culture, transport, and tourism.
“Every year, the city has a festival on the last three days of the year where hundreds of thousands of people come from all over Latin America to join the celebration,” World Port Source adds. “The festival ends with Latin America’s biggest fireworks show attended by a million tourists.”