Port Watch Weekly

week # 6

Caribbean Updates


The social situation remains unstable in Haiti’s territory, with insecurity on the rise, as kidnappings have increased considerably. We are currently operating at Port Cap Haitien, located north of Haiti and where the situation in the capital is not yet affected.

Central America

Costa Rica

 ¡Reopened berthing /unberthing maneuvers in APM Terminals! The Port of APM has recovered normal operations. The activity has restarted after a brief period of suspension due to the global connection failure.

Acajutla, El Salvador

Starting February 19th/ 2024 at Pier A-1 / A-2 will begin Project of dock front repair. Phases will be as follows:

  • Phase 1: will be Pier A-1 with 110mts with estimate timing of 3 months on first stage, having about 200mts for docking vessels (towards Pier A-2)
  • Phase 2: will be for Pier A-2 with 100mts with estimate timing of 2.6 months repair. Having about 210mts for docking other vessels (towards Pier A-1)
  • Phase 3: will be 100mts in between piers A1 and A2, for this particular phase. No merchant vessels will be docked.

Note: this will affect congestion on other piers.

Line Ups & Industry news

For more information, please: 


The average water density in Caldera Port is 1.018 for the purpose of draft calculation procedures.

Note: These waiting days are subject to weather condition, arrival drafts and type of cargo detailed as follows:

  • MPP and dry-bulk carriers are assigned for docking at berth #4 which has a max permissible draft of 12.3m SW.
  • MPP and dry-bulk carriers may be assigned to dock other berths subject to priorities vessel type as follows:
  • Berth priorities: 1- Cruiser, 2- Perishable cargoes (reefer containers), 3- Ro-Ro (short time call), 4- grain vessels (at berth #4), 5- General cargo.


  • Pier N° 1 length: 210 meters (Official DRAFT for General cargo Vessel 10.50 mts) – CONTAINER VESSEL´S HAVE PRIORITY
  • Pier N° 2 length: 150 meters (Official DRAFT for General cargo Vessel 9.50 mts)
  • Pier N° 3 length: 190 meters (Official DRAFT for General cargo Vessel 6.75 mts)
  • Pier N ° 4 length: 250 meters (Official DRAFT for General cargo Vessel 12.30 mts) – GRAIN VESSEL´S HAVE PRIORITY


Main reason of delays is the current rain affecting turnaround time on vessel´s operating at berth.

Rio Haina

Waiting time cannot be estimated but now both ports are congested.

Current port restrictions:

LOA 760ft BEAM 105ft

  • Min depth 10.1m at pier #4 west.
  • Min depth 10.9m at pier #5 west.
  • Min depth 9.8m at pier #3 east.
  • Min depth 9.9m at pier #4 east.
  • Min depth 10.4m at pier #5 east.
  • Recommended UKC 0.3m.
  • Density BW varies between 1.016 and 1.025.

Puerto Plata

Waiting time cannot be estimated but now both ports are congested.

Current port restrictions:

LOA 700ft BEAM 100ft

  • Min depth 10.2m at pier #4 west
  • Min depth 10.2m at pier #5 west
  • Recommended UKC 0.3m
  • Density SW 1.025.


Usually port program is first come, first serve but this is less and less common as when port is congested authorities do not comply this regulation and they organize berthing based on below priority list as follows:

  1. Cruise vessel
  2. Sugar & molasses loading vessel.
  3. Containers
  4. Bulk carrier with food and perishable cargo
  5. RORO
  6. Cement/steel, etc.


  • ACJ is at open sea, current swell conditions are affecting the piers, hence if swell condition continue the port authorities can supply 4 mooring mixed lines to ensure the operation.
  • It’s very important to mention that if vessel arrived with draft higher than 11.2m can only work at Pier C, which is dedicated to Containers vessels, and they have priority for berthing.
  • Waiting time is around 5-10 days for breakbulk vessels.
  • For Pier A, usually docked containers less than 10.5mts EK. The same berth will be under repair operations for 3 months, and it will affect Pier C as will be more congested.
  • Port declared “CONGESTED”

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

  • Puerto Quetzal has 4 berths for discharge operations.
  • Regular and consistent liner traffic, two (2) of these berths are solely used for liner/container vessels.
  • These vessels include container ships with perishable cargo, passenger ships and military vessels.
  • The remaining two (2) berths are to be used for all other types of cargo.
  • Berthing prospects are based on a first come first serve basis, except for liner (chartered) vessels.
  • Guatemala’s biggest export product is sugar and ships loading sugar have priority above all other vessels at port.
  • Sugar in bags vessel can take up to 14-15 days at berth.
  • Weather conditions are irregular and often hard to predict.
  • Terminal have policy for operational productivity of 90MT * Hour * gang; if vessel do not met productivity established, they will ask vessel to vacate berth and shifting expenses must be cover by the client.
  • Currently no weather issues. BB times are approximately 9-11 days.

Weather Forecast

Forecasted conditions may be different to those experienced offshore.

Acajutla, El Salvador

  • Berthing is subject to suitable marine/weather conditions and pilot criteria.
  • Find attached weather forecast for Acajutla issued on February 5th 2024.
  • Forecasted conditions may be different to those actually experienced offshore.


Source: Kirk’s Forecast

  • Weakened high pressure well off to our north & west will shift swiftly east ward into midweek.
  • Ahead of our next frontal passage. An active frontal system will approach during Sunday destabilizing our atmosphere.
  • Seas in exposed areas should be mostly below 4 feet.
  • Adverse marine conditions could affect our local waters again during Wednesday & Sunday.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

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