Caribbean transfer port
America Gateway Development Corporation – Amega - last month started the next phase of its plan to build a $900 million megaport off the coast of Costa Rica.
Barbados-based Amega has invested $26 million in getting an exclusive right to the project, along with preliminary plans for a port, where big ships could transfer cargo to small ones, which supply Central America, the Caribbean, and ports in the southern United States.
The Costa Rican plan may not be ideal.
But a transfer port could work in principle.
The problem with Costa Rica is an abundance of riches.
The country has two potential deep-water ports in the Caribbean, including a concession – supposedly a priority - to The Hague-based APM Terminals in the city of Limón.
If the Limón port were operating, it could be at the same time be a transfer facility.
In that case, there would be no need for a second port, operated by Amega.
On the other hand, the APM project has not yet been approved.
As far as a transfer operation in principle is concerned, the concept could work.
The world’s shipping lines increasingly use big vessels, which can’t dock in small ports.
A central location in the Caribbean region would be an efficient place to transfer cargo.
Either Costa Rican project would have a depth of 18 meters, enough for the world’s biggest ships.
Outside Colombia, Mexico and the United States, there is no other deep-water port in the Caribbean.
An option would be to build a transfer port off the Caribbean coast of Panama, a country with vast experience in shipping.
But investors might think that it’s risky to have so many shipping interests in one country.