Argentina's Administracion General de Puertos (Spanish) (General Ports Administration), overseen by the Undersecretary for Ports and Waterways, is the port authority for the Port of Buenos Aires. As a state entity, the General Ports Administration is responsible for the administration, operation, and maintenance of all sea and river ports in the country and the enforcement of port-related laws and regulations.
The General Ports Administration was originally established when President Juan Peron nationalized the ports in 1949 under the name of the Direccion Nacional de Puertos (National Port Directorate), charging it with overseeing Argentina's major port operations. In 1987, President Raul Alfonsin reorganized the agency as the General Ports Administration. Suffering economic losses, the Port of Buenos Aires and other Argentinian ports were privatized in 1992, although the ownership of the port remained with the federal government.
Photo by Rcidte
Throughout most of the 20th Century, Puerto Madero was an ancillary port to the Port of Buenos Aires. In 1994, a major revitalization effort began to modernize and rebuilt the Puerto Madero area. Redevelopment included converting old warehouses to offices, lofts, retail space, restaurants, 5-star hotels, and some of the city's largest parks. Today, the Puerto Madero area is one of the city's trendiest waterfront areas.
The Port of Buenos Aires is Argentina's principal seaport and the center for transshipment and foreign trade in Argentina. The Port of Buenos Aires is located in the Retiro ward, called Puerto Nuevo (New Port). The Province of Buenos Aires' Dock Sud is to the south of the city.
In 2004, the Port of Buenos Aires made significant investments designed to meet the increasing container traffic and the larger cargo ships. These investments involved expanding existing infrastructure and improving the Port of Buenos Aires' transport chain. The size of the Port of Buenos Aires is limited by the city that surrounds it. Growth of the Port of Buenos Aires is directed to water areas by creating new land areas with fillers, better using existing space, and improving processes for handling and storage.
The objectives of the General Ports Administration and the Port of Buenos Aires were to improve port access by water, road, and rail; improve security and safety for navigation in the access channel and port; to improve port infrastructure and facilities while also protecting their historic value and upgrading working conditions; and to increase areas dedicated to operations and logistics. The Port of Buenos Aires has also called for bids for the partial filling of Basin F and the creation of Terminal 6.
he southernmost of the four docks in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, in 1999. Shows the port just before the area started to be turned to a modern business and amusement area in the first decade of the 21st century.
Photo by H005
In 2011, a total of 1812 vessels called at the Port of Buenos Aires carrying over 11.5 million tons of cargo including more than 9.4 million tons of containers and almost 2.0 million tons of liquid bulk. In 2011, the Port of Buenos Aires supported 135 passenger ships carrying over 357.4 thousand passengers. The Port of Buenos Aires received over 6.8 million tons of imports and released about 4.7 million tons of exports. The largest single cargo type handled in the Port of Buenos Aires in 2011 was almost six million tons of general manufacturing products, which dominated both imports (over three million tons) and exports (almost three million tons).
The Port of Buenos Aires imported over two million tons of fuels and lubricants. The Port of Buenos Aires handled 912.8 thousand tons of chemical products, including 665.8 thousand tons of imports and 247 thousand tons of exports. Other major exports leaving the Port of Buenos Aires in 2011 included meat and leather (513.3 thousand tons); fruits, juices, and beverages (433 thousand tons); wool, cotton, and manufactured textiles (120 thousand tons); and oils (119.1 thousand tons). Other major imports arriving at the Port of Buenos Aires included cars and parts (253.1 thousand tons), paper (202.7 thousand tons), iron and steel (162 thousand tons), and machines and tools (132.2 thousand tons).
The Port of Buenos Aires Container Terminal SA (BACTSSA) began operating in 1994. Covering a total area of 25 hectares, the BACTSSA has 885 meters (2903 feet) of berths and 10.8 hectares of container yards. The BACTSSA also contains an on-site logistics center and ample state-of-the-art terminal equipment. When the BACTSSA was established in the Port of Buenos Aires in 1994, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and Bemberg Investment SA were granted an 18-year concession to manage and operate the terminal. In 2001, BACTSSA became a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings Group (HPH).
Partial view behind the grain elevator. (Dock D)
Photo by Claudio Elias
The Port of Buenos Aires' BACTSSA approach channel has a maximum draft of 9.8 meters (32 feet) and a tidal range of 0.9 meters (three feet). The BACTSSA in the Port of Buenos Aires contains four berths, including two 500-meter (1640-foot) container berths. The head pier has berthing distance of 200 meters (656.2 feet), and the main quay has berthing distance of 500 meters (1640 feet). The finger quay has berthing distance of 185 meters (607 feet) with alongside depth of 8.5 meters (28 feet).
The BACTSSA terminal in the Port of Buenos Aires covers 25 hectares. It has an 18-hectare stacking area and 480 reefer plugs. Operating all day 7 days a week, the BACTSSA is connected to the National Railway Network. The Port of Buenos Aires Container Terminal includes an empty container depot that offers container storage and repair, upgrading, cleaning, and pre-trip inspections for reefer containers. Arriving containers are monitored from the Container Freight Station which is outfitted with the latest information technology.
The BACTSSA's bonded warehouse in the Port of Buenos Aires offers a wide range of services that include stock control, stuffing and stripping; storage for non-containerized cargo; handling of fragile and valuable goods; storage for dangerous goods; reefer cargo control; stock control; cross-docking; customs inspections; security; international clearance for cargo on trucks; and handling of palletized, project, and grain cargoes.
The non-bonded warehouse at the Port of Buenos Aires Container Terminal includes 2800 square meters (30.1 thousand square feet) of covered storage, 2400 square meters (25.8 thousand square feet) for general storage, and 300 square meters (3229 square feet) of shed area. The Port of Buenos Aires Container Terminal's non-bonded warehouse also includes space for 1600 pallets, 100 square meters (1076 square feet) for special cargo, and a 1.7-acre truck waiting and parking area with three trailer docks.
The Port of Buenos Aires Container Terminal has a wide range of modern equipment to handle containers and other cargo. There are five rail-mounted super-post-Panamax gantry cranes and five mobile gantry cranes. The BACTSSA in the Port of Buenos Aires has 13 40-ton rubber-tyred gantry cranes, six 45-ton reach stackers, six 10-ton empty container handlers, 17 7.5-ton forklifts, 18 50-ton terminal tractors, and 45 50-ton trailers with capacity for 40-foot containers.
Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are known as the Terminales Rio de la Plata (TRP). These Port of Buenos Aires facilities cover an area of 43 hectares and have capacity to handle 800 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. Two operational berths can accommodate vessels of 300 meters (984.2 feet) in length. The Dock B pier has berthing distance of 465 meters (1525 feet), and the Dock C-2 pier has berthing distance of 680 meters (2231 feet). There are also two docks at the TRP in the Port of Buenos Aires that handle general and project cargo.
Photo by Dan DeLuca
The Port of Buenos Aires' TRP contains the biggest reefer station in Latin America with capacity for 1350 containers, including 150 refrigerated containers. The reefer station has a specific area for inspections. The terminal also has an area with capacity for three thousand TEUs of empty containers. The Container Freight Station at the TRP in the Port of Buenos Aires includes a 2000 square meter (21.5 thousand square foot) warehouse for project and breakbulk cargoes that has eaves covering one thousand square meters (almost 10.8 thousand square feet) that can be used in bad weather.
The rail transfer station at the Port of Buenos Aires' TRP contains 1676 meters (5499 feet) of broad gauge rails and 1000 meters (3781 feet) of narrow gauge rail tracks.
In addition to state-of-the-art information technology that tracks loading/unloading of ships and delivery/receipt of merchandise and allows customers to get timely data on every load, the Port of Buenos Aires' TRP has a modern surveillance system that assures cargo and operational safety.
The Port of Buenos Aires' TRP has a wide range of cargo-handling equipment. The TRP has ten super-post-Panamax gantry cranes with 41-ton capacity under spreader and hook capacity of over 51 tons and reach for up to 18 containers (46 meters or 151 feet). The TRP has three 50-ton mobile cranes, and 25 40-ton rubber-tyred gantry cranes. Equipment at the Port of Buenos Aires' TRP includes three heavy lift front load stackers with capacity for 30 tons and maximum stowage height of four TEUs, four 45-ton reach stackers with maximum stowage height for five containers, and 17 10-ton empty container handlers with maximum stowage height for six containers. The TRP in the Port of Buenos Aires has two mobile harbor cranes with capacity for 35 and 52 tons and maximum stowage height for six containers. The TRP also has two 37-ton heavy forklifts, three 7.5-ton forklifts, three 4.5-ton forklifts, and 20 2.5-ton forklifts. This Port of Buenos Aires terminal has 45 50-ton terminal tractors and 48 50-ton trailers for 40-foot containers.
The Port of Buenos Aires' Terminal 4 (Spanish) is operated by APM Terminals. This multi-purpose Port of Buenos Aires terminal handles containers, general cargo, project cargo, and heavy loads. The facility can consolidate, de-consolidate, and store all types of cargo. The total area of Terminal 4 in the Port of Buenos Aires is about eight hectares, and the terminal contains about three hectares at the dock and seven hectares of open yards. It contains 472 reefer outlets.
Terminal 4 in the Port of Buenos Aires has two docks with berthing distance of 495 and 180 meters (1624 and 590 feet) with alongside depth of 10.5 meters (34.4 feet). The terminal has capacity for 5741 TEUs of containerized cargo.
The Port of Buenos Aires' Terminal 4 has a variety of cargo-handling equipment that includes four quay cranes with maximum capacity for 208 tons, two rail-mounted quay cranes with capacity for 35 tons, 12 45-ton reach stackers with maximum stowage height of five containers, three 10-ton empty container handlers with maximum stowage height of six containers, one 12-ton forklift, ten 2.5-ton forklifts, two 10.4-ton capacity trucks, and two pickups.
The EMCYM Terminal in the Port of Buenos Aires is operated by Maersk to handle cargoes of grain and agricultural by-products. It offers berthing distance of 200 meters (656.2 feet) with alongside depth of 10.1 meters (33 feet). The loading gallery at this Port of Buenos Aires terminal has five chutes that can process one thousand tons per hour.
Photo by Alexis Gonzalez
Located at the Terminales Rio de la Plata (TRP) is the Quinquela Martin passenger terminal in the Port of Buenos Aires. In the heart of the city, the terminal opened in 2011. The new Port of Buenos Aires terminal is South America's biggest and most modern passenger facility with capacity to serve 600 thousand passengers each season. The terminal building has an area of three acres on two floors. The waiting room can accommodate 2000 people comfortably, and the luggage room can handle as many as 12 thousand bags. The pier at this Port of Buenos Aires cruise facility can handle two vessels of more than 300 meters (984 feet) in length at the same time. In its first summer, the Quinquela Martin terminal received 135 cruise vessel visits carrying over 365 thousand visitors.