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Box terminal goes bust in Brazil

Grupo Libra will close its Libra Terminais operation at the Port of Santos, after CMA CGM switched three services to other terminals and the terminal operator feels the strain of its struggle with debt.

The Brazil-based terminal operator confirmed that the last sailing from T-35 and T-37, which handle around 526,000 teus of annual cargo, would be on 29 April via Cosco Shipping’s Asia to east coast South America (ECSA) service, reported JOC. Libra Rio, a box terminal in the port of Rio de Janeiro, and Libraport Campinas, an inland rail and intermodal terminal in the interior of Sao Paulo state, will not be affected by the shutdown.

“Grupo Libra remains firm in its intention to restructure its operations through the ongoing Judicial Recovery Process,” the Bralizian equivalent of Chapter 11 proceedings in the US, the terminal operator said in a statement. “It also clarifies that the situation of its operation in Libra Terminais Santos has no negative impact on the other operations of Grupo Libra, which follow the normal course of its activities.”

Major debt

Grupo Libra owes the Santos Port Authority more than US$512.14m, alongside debts to other banks. Grupo Libra’s recent concession extension was initially approved by former Brazilian president Michael Temer, who was arrested recently as part of a corruption probe. However, the granting of a concession to an operator in debt to the state or a government body violates Brazilian law and the concession was subsequently cancelled.

DP World Santos is expected to be able to handle the annual cargo dealt with by Libra Terminais.

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