Alejandro Costa, General Manager of Impala Terminals Colombia presented a report on the first 240 days of operation of the company’s fluvial port in Barrancabermeja during the 12th Infrastructure Congress recently held in Cartagena, with statistics that demonstrate ‘multimodalism’ as an efficient transport and logistics tool for the country.
The port of Barrancabermeja is part of Impala’s USD1 billion state-of-the-art multimodal logistics investment in Colombia. A fleet of over 120 double-hulled, dry and wet cargo barges will transport oil and other liquid bulk products, containers and other commodities to and from the main Colombian ports on the Caribbean Sea. The purpose-built river port at Barancabermeja acts as a consolidation hub, connecting river, road and rail cargoes.
Construction of the inland port at Barrancabermeja is now 60 percent complete and early operations are underway. Since March this year 92 voyages have been made along the Magdalena River transporting more than three million barrels of crude oil and naphtha, replacing 11,700 individual journeys by tanker trucks. Early operations for dry cargos began in June, as well as a series of trials for container transport.
"The positive impact of multimodal transport are already evident,” said Alejandro Costa. “After only a few months the efficiency of this type of transport is being shown. We have already transported goods over 60,000 kilometers, equivalent to twice the distance between Colombia and Australia.”
Multimodal transport operations mean a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. A recent study by Environmental Resources Management found that Impala’s multimodal transport model, involving navigation along the Magdalena River, represents a substantial reduction of GHG emissions compared to goods being transported by truck.
The study calculated carbon emissions for routes carrying the heaviest volumes of liquid and dry cargo based on fuel consumption figures for a truck only, vs a truck and a tugboat pushing six barges (i.e., the multimodal scenario). It was found that there was a 67 percent reduction of GHG in liquid cargo and a 56 percent reduction of GHG in dry cargo.
"Impala Terminals commissioned the study to better understand the potential GHG reduction from adopting multimodal transport. These results show that environmental efficiency is one of the many benefits of this solution," said Alejandro Costa.
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