Port Watch Weekly

week # 9

Caribbean Updates


Public Holiday Upcoming on March 2nd, 2024 – James Ronald Webster’s Birthday

Puerto Rico

Bank/Public sector holiday on March 2nd, 2024 – American Citizenship Day.



Due to social situation with insecurity on the rise, 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

Acajutla, El Salvador

Since February 19th/ 2024 at Pier A-1 / A-2 started Phase , 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 phase. No merchant vessels will be docked.

Note: this will affect congestion on other piers.

Line Ups & Industry news

For more information, please: 

Puerto Cortés

Estimated waiting time per type of cargo/vessel as follows:

To secure berthing planning.

  • Payment with Terminal/stevedoring,
  • Receivers’ completion on custom formalities
  • Freight amount properly manifested in customs system. The freight amount printed on bl is mandatory for this port.

Puerto Cortes Pier 4 is under legal dispute between National Authorities and OPC. For that reason, the same is closed until further notice from the port authorities.

For Break bulk vessels, the main reason of waiting time is berth availability taking into consideration that container vessels have berthing priority, the weather also impact the operations, and this affects operations in all piers.


As per Article 84 of Port Rule and Regulation in Caldera, the use of the Shore Crane is subject to final decision from Terminal Authorities, so at any moment during cargo discharge/loading operations, the Terminal Authorities could use it.

Attached circular to importers of general cargo/ iron.

Due to unfavorable weather conditions and congestion, vessels can experience waiting times as follows:

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.
  • Average water density in Caldera Port is 1.018
  • Main reason of delays is the current rain affecting turnaround time on vessel´s operating at berth.
  • 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

Acajutla, El Salvador

ACJ is at open sea, current swell conditions are affecting the piers, hence if swell condition continues, the port authorities can supply 4 mooring mixed lines to ensure the operation. We strongly suggest that vessel bring extra mooring lines onboard just in case Terminal cannot supply as no ropes available to be hired/purchased locally.

There are currently 06 ships waiting to dock.

Now, berthing is based on below priority list:

  1. Cruise vessel
  2. Sugar & molasses loading vessels.
  3. Containers
  4. Bulk carrier with food and perishable cargo
  5. RORO
  6. Cement/steel, etc.
  • 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.
  • Vessels that arrived with draft higher than 11.2m can only work at Pier C, which is dedicated to Containers vessels.
  • Waiting time is around 8-10 days for breakbulk vessels.

Puerto Plata

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

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.

Puerto Quetzal

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 will apply.

LOA restrictions: Berths: 1 – 4 -200 MT long each and accommodate as per LOA availability.

Berthing prospects at Puerto Quetzal are subject to various factor as:

  • Puerto Quetzal has 4 berths for discharge operations. The remaining two (2) berths are to be used for all other types of cargo.
  • 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.
  • Container arriving on daily basis with priority.
  • Berthing prospects are based on a first come first serve basis, except for liner (chartered) vessels.
  • Ships loading sugar have priority above all other vessels at port.
  • Currently no weather issues. BB times are approximately 15-20 days.

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.

Weather Forecast

Forecasted conditions may be different to those experienced offshore.

Costa Rica

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Dry season goes from January to April and Rainy season from April to December.

Acajutla, El Salvador
  • Berthing is subject to suitable marine/weather conditions and pilot criteria.
  • Find attached weather forecast for Acajutla issued on February 26TH 2024.
  • Forecasted conditions may be different to those actually experienced offshore.
Puerto Cortés, Honduras

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