Port Watch Weekly

week # 18

Caribbean Updates

Public Holidays

Labor Day is widely celebrated throughout the Caribbean and Central America.

We recommend contacting us to find out if on May 1st there will be special schedules for attention by the authorities, depending on the territory where you have planned operations.

May 2nd: US Virgin Islands – Carnival 2024 (J’Ouvert)

May 3rd: US Virgin Islands – Carnival 2024 (Children’s Parade)

May 6th: Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis – Labour Day. Cayman Islands – Emancipation Day

May 8th: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin – Victory Day

May 9th: Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St, Eustatius, Guadeloupe, Martinique – Ascension Day


Dominican Republic

New simplified and updated Harbour Towage tariff , effective May 21st, 2024 (attached Caribbean Flash!)



Security condition is still trouble/disturbances due to shooting guns near the port, caused by armed gangs.

Police and military are at port & shore to secure, to safeguard the installations.

New Haiti Government effective since April 25th.

Central America


Presidential and general elections will take place on May 5 throughout the country.


Acajutla, El Salvador

Project of dock repair continues at Pier A-1 / A-2 (Phase 1). Phases will be as follows:

  • Phase 1: will be for Pier A-1 with 110mts with estimated 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 estimated 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, Honduras

For Break bulk vessel the main reason of waiting time is berth availability taking into consideration that containers vessel has berthing priority. Weather also might impact operations at all piers.

Option to work on berth #4 is available again subject to approval from the terminal. This berth is only available for general cargo vessel. Please bear in mind operations at this berth are subject to direct discharge only.

Draft port restrictions as follows:

Pier 5: 478.5 meters length (Max allowed drafts 11 mts).

Pier 6: 350 meters length (Max allowed drafts 14 mts).

Acajutla, El Salvador

Waiting time is around 6-10 days for breakbulk vessels at pier C, for other piers 4-5 days. Berthing is subject to suitable marine/weather conditions and pilot criteria.

To discharge heavy cargo on Pier B4/B6, ship cranes /shore equipment- is required. For heavy cargo we suggest calling Pier C to use shore crane.

  • Cargo with civil liability policy
  • Cargo dimensions ( HxWx L of all pcs)
  • Unit weight per piece
  • Pictures/condition of the cargo
  • Crew should manage cranes
  • If any special equipment needed, it should be coordinated with anticipation to avoid delays
  • Stevedores will handle vessel crane when discharge heavy cargo
  • Port will request receivers to be ready with trucks

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
  • Extra mooring lines onboard are suggested in case Terminal cannot supply as ACJ is at open sea and current swell conditions are affecting the piers.
  • Vessels that arrived with draft higher than 11.2m can only work at Pier C, which is dedicated to Containers vessels.

Puerto Plata

Berthing is subject to suitable marine/weather conditions and pilot criteria.

Forecasted conditions may be different to those experienced offshore.

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

LOA 700 ft 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


Tentative Caldera Port planning for the next few days is available on request with our team.

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.


Berth priorities: 1- Cruiser, 2- Perishable cargoes (reefer containers), 3- Ro-Ro (short time call), 4- grain vessels (at berth #4), 5- General cargo.

  • MPP and dry-bulk carriers may be assigned to dock other berths subject to priorities vessel type as follows:


  • 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

Rio Haina

Waiting time cannot be estimated at this point due to severe port congestion.

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 Quetzal

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

  • Puerto Quetzal has 4 berths for discharge operations.
  • Currently no weather issues. BB times are approximately 15-20 days.
  • 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.
  • LOA restriction – Berths: 1 – 4 -200 MT long each and accommodate as per LOA availability.
  • Container arriving on daily basis with priority.
  • Berthing prospects are based on a first come first serve basis, except for liner (chartered) vessels.

Weather Forecast

Forecasted conditions may be different to those experienced offshore.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Rio Hania

Puerto Plata

Puerto Cortés

Costa Rica, Puerto Caldera

Acajutla, El Salvador

  • CEPA is evaluating some points about the high tide.
  • Berthing is subject to suitable marine/weather conditions and pilot criteria.


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