At 02.30 hrs in the morning of Monday, August 12th, I made the following entry on Facebook: In yesterdays´first step of the elections (P.A.S.O.), the vote of “punishment” came and the possibility that the political party “TODOS POR EL CAMBIO” (ALL FOR CHANGE) can win the October election is minimal.
Now all political leaders have a huge responsibility: all together they must prepare ways to ensure that the very probable “handover of command” in December, can be done in an orderly manner. The whole world will be observing this and the future of the country, depends on the decisions that will be taken today and in the coming days.
The government of “Cambiemos” must make its self-criticisms which President Macri requested from his “civil servants before making “the spiritual retreat of Chapadmalal “. But in that event, organized by his advisor José Torello, instead of recognizing clear mistakes, only self-praise was made. There is a sector where many very good things were done, but unfortunately, also serious mistakes were made: the Ministry of Transportation.
And in these 3 and a half years, it has been proven that Transportation is of paramount importance in the country's economy.
Already in 2014, in the “PENSAR Foundation” of the political party, PRO, recommendations were made that the new Ministry should play a very important role.
One of the recommendations was that “transport policies” should be “planned”, setting PRIORITIES in the projects, according to their importance. That way the country's poverty could be lowered. Evidence of this can be found in publications on the website of the NUESTROMAR Foundation of 2016 and 2017, www.nuesrromar.org, and on my blog www.antonioz.com.ar. A local saying is, that “a button is enough for a sample”. Applying this, the following example can be given, with information how in January 2016 the new government took the first steps how the port system would be studied. Ports are of great importance in logistics costs, which in turn is of great importance in the economy.
A report at www.antonioz.com.ar clearly shows how in January 2016, the “transport and ports policy” was started completely wrong.
Throughout the world, transportation planning begins with a Basic Plan for all transports in the country. The second step is to insert in this plan, the plan of all existing and potential ports in the country. As a third step, S.W.A.T.studies should be made of different sectors, to analyze the competitiveness of the system. And only AFTER THAT, studies should be made of a very important port, which is the Port of Buenos Aires.
But a basic mistake was made and instead of these steps, immediately a pompous MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES started, with different consultants, whose participation always remained as big secrets. At this moment the result of this “plan without the logic base”, is being tendered.
It has an estimated cost between US$ 1600 and 2000 million and although it has received strong criticism from many sides, there are still indications that it is the intention to award this “plan for 35 years ”, with a possible extension of 15 years, before December. (When the period of President Macri finishes). This "plan" is made in the A.G.P., the General Administration of Ports, which before the Law of Port Activities 24.093, was responsible for the policy of all ports in the country, but was liquidated in 1993.
It was only kept for the P.B.A. because a veto was made in the Port Law 24093, that did not allow the pass of the port of Buenos Aires to the city, capital of the country, that at that moment did not yet have the Rank of a province.
The A.G.P. has an expensive organization, which is dedicated to propaganda, which in many cases is totally false.
And again we say that “a button is enough for a sample”, which is the daily propaganda of A.G.P., where every day you can read propaganda of the "PROGRESS, THAT IS MADE." They daily say how many hectares have been added ”to the federal port of all Argentines”, with a “Plan de Paseos de las Areneras”, etc.
The reality is that debris from the “Paseo del Bajo Project” were thrown, without compacting it, in half of Basin F (Dock F”) and another landfill north of the port, which in the future will be used for logistics, but will have to be compacted with large expenses.
But in 2016, the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways, “gave” many more hectares of port-land to the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
On that land, on the other side of Avenida Ramón Castillo, now operate 3 “Bonded Warehouses”, which have an important function in the logistics chain. Originally the C.A.B.A. planned to build a Puerto Madero 2 there, which however is impossible, as it is in the landing area of the local airfield, where no high buildings can be made.
In the 60s, the first “Bonded Warehouses” of the country were built in these areas, due to their excellent location in the transport chain, with the least negative impact on urban traffic.Around 75% of import cargoes have their destination to the north and 80% of the export originates north of the port of Buenos Aires and Dock Sud.
In this “lay-out” the least % of containers that come and go to “Bonded Warehouses” have to cross the urban roads of the City of Buenos Aires. (Only 20/25% must pass through the City roads).
As said, this began in the 60s in “lowlands”, practically recovered from the river, and many millions of dollars have been invested in compacting the land for container-operations.
Now the land belongs to the C.A.B.A. and the 3 Bonded Warehouses must go to the Central Market. Then 100% will have to cross the whole city when they go from the terminals to the Central Market.
And afterward, when they leave the Bonded Warehouse to their final destination, 75/80% must go through the city again.
Moreover, it is the intention to use the land that now is being filled, to make cheap empty-container depots for containers that return empty after importation.
This means that a great number of import containers will cross urban traffic when they go to the “empty-container-depot” and, which will cross urban traffic again when they go to the places where they will be filled for export.
In all the ports of the world, there are reduced spaces, firstly due to the high value of land in the port area and secondly, so that a minimum of these empty containers must pass through the urban traffic.
I think that before continuing with this tender, which has an investment of more than US $ 1.6 billion, a thorough study should be made.
Forming now a Joint Commission in Congress, with the Executive Power and the Legislative Power would give a good signal to the world and will be a short- cut for the government that begins in 2020, whether it is Macri or Fernandez.
I started this site in 2007 with the intention of continuing the objective of the books I wrote in 1990 (Manual to operate with Containers) and in 2001 (Containers, Ships and Ports, parts of a Transportation System).
The changes that occurred between 2001 and 2007 were very important and in 2007 they began to be so rapid that they could not be published in a new book.
At the time of publication, the book would already be outdated.
A grandson advised me to make a blog and with his help I put the full text of the book, which is free for all interested, especially several universities that use it.
I explained in the “Mission” that the objective is: TO COLLABORATE IN TRAINING.
I advise readers to start this website with the “initial mission of 2016” and as a first matter, read Chapter XXII: "THE IMPACT THAT MEGA-VESSELS WILL HAVE ON THE PORTS OF THE REGION". (See elsewhere in this website).
From my participation in the failed attempt of the new Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways to form his Advisory Council between January and April 2016, I started adding to "TRAINING" some other issues that have to do with the "ECONOMY IN TRANSPORTATION".
Nobody can deny that for 70 years Argentina has not had a TRANSPORTATION POLICY. With the government of President Macri, a MINISTRY of Transport was created, but this did not DEVELOP A TRANSPORTATION POLICY.
In 2010, the PRO party created the PENSAR Foundation, for Mauricio Macri, Head of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (C.A.B.A.) who was preparing to be a candidate for 2015 Presidential elections. A Transport Working Group was formed, with several sub-groups where the W.G. of "Ports", which have a very important role in the TRANSPORTATION POLICY was undoubtedly the most active. Unfortunately, the necessary coordination was lacking: there was no leader, who guided the subgroups to the correct way of studying transportation costs. In Argentina, the sum of the "invoices" presented by the individual carriers to their customers are generally used to compare the costs to take the cargo from one point to another.
But these "bills" do not reflect the total costs that exist in each mode of transport, where the 3 most important are transportation by water, rail and roads. In the correct cost studies of each mode of transport, the costs of the infrastructure, the costs of each carrier and also the 3 externalities must be included ": the impact on the environment, congestion and accidents that exist in each mode.
This lack of a coordinator also lasted in the operation of the Ministry of Transport. Proof of this is the fact that the advises given by the Working Group of Ports in November 2014 to the presidential candidate, did not receive any consideration in the new ministry, where the "Transportation Planning" did not respond to the above-mentioned criteria.
This deserves a separate study, which is not the subject of this note.Here we try to show that in this ministry there was no progress to form a much needed TRANSPORTATION POLICY. Many road works were carried out and the railway recovery program, which had already begun with the previous government, with Chinese funding was continued with greater dedication.
It can almost be said that under the previous government the repair of the metric gauge system was driven from China, more by Chinese interests than by Argentine ones (It is quite possible that in some cases this continues to be the case). It can also be said that, although many things improved, the new Ministry of Transport did not fulfill the most important role:
To develop a TRANSPORT POLICY.We must however pose the question: Is this solely the fault of the Ministry of Transport? In no way: Without a doubt, it is also the fault of the organizations of the Business Chambers, which always looked to the governments to set the rules, without making their own contributions. And here is something that deserves a lot of attention: in Argentina, there is no well-organized chamber that defends the interests of the PRODUCERS, who at the end of the account are the ones who pay the transportation costs.
When at the end of the 70s the USA Congress began to study these same things deeply, there were organizations that influenced the proceedings: The first was created in 1907, the National Industrial Transportation League (https://www.nitl.org/about-nitl/). There are other organizations for agricultural producers. Agriculture Transportation League (https://agtrans.org/) and the Soy Transportation Coalition (https://www.soytransportation.org/).
These are things that are needed to create a competitive country.And so we have reached the role of CONGRESS, where the law 27419 of the National Merchant Marine Development and regional fluvial integration was enacted in November 2017.
This is a law that affects transport by water, the mode that intrinsically is the cheapest mode and that in the most competitive countries in the world receives maximum attention.In competitive countries, transportation laws are made within A TRANSPORTATION POLICY, WHICH, IN COUNTRIES OF THE SIZE OF ARGENTINA, WITH ITS LONG MARITIME COAST, GREAT RIVERS AND EXTENSIVE RAILWAY NETWORK, IS ALWAYS AN "INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY".
Therefore, I think that the way in which this law was treated deserves a thorough analysis because in the speeches many senators who voted for the law, used very debatable arguments. There was much talk of the millions of dollars that Argentina loses, paying foreign shipping companies, without taking into account that Argentina continues to sell most of its products (almost all "basic") with conditions of the old FOB INCOTERM and purchases mostly with CIF.
That is to say that it is the buyer of our exported cargo and the seller of the imported cargo, who almost always pays for maritime transport. And nobody compared those costs with those that would occur if it had to be done with a “national flag fleet”.
The much-needed analysis would also show that no organization was acting to defend the interests of the CONSUMERS, (WHICH IS A TASK FOR CONGRESS!)
Already in 2008, the then General Secretary of the Union of Captains and officers of River-vessels, Fisheries and Maritime Cabotage, the late Juan Carlos Pucci, made several very well organized events bout the tax problems, with the title: The asymmetries of our taxation system compared with the Paraguayan system. There is abundant material in the press about this.
This point did not receive due treatment in Congress, where a complete study should be made why Argentina lost the excellent position it had until 1950, of having one of the most respected river-fleets in the world and the best in South America. Now it is one of the least actives.
And now we come to the part with a very clear example of how a Mixed Commission of the Executive Power and the Legislative Power must lay the foundations to form good Transport Laws: The example is in the USA 1976.
In part 1 we saw that in many parts of the world agreements have been made that seemed bright, but did not give the expected results.
One of these was a MoU that was signed in March 2017 by A.G.P. of Argentina and PoR, the Port of Rotterdam while King William Alexander (Willem Alexander) and the Queen of the Netherlands and President Macri and his wife observed the ceremony.
And we saw in “Part 1” that after more than 2 years we need to ask ourselves 11 questions about the agreements that were signed.
We mentioned that there are well-founded suspicions that the real contribution of the PoR in the Modernization Plan of the port of B.A.was MINIM.
In part 2 you could read the text of a speech of Prime Minister Mark Rutte at a luncheon offered on March 23rd 2017 by the Dutch government on the occasion of the State visit of the Argentine President to the Netherlands.
THESE WERE THINGS THAT WERE BRILLIANT.
It was reported that Mr. Mortola thought that the Port of Rotterdam (PoR) would do this for free, as he repeatedly published in his regular news with his propaganda.
But all this changed when he received the first visit of the PoR technicians where they informed him about the budget, which was a very high sum.
In part 2 you could also see the photo that Mr. Mortola circulated in his tweet on March 1, 2019 with an image of the good relationship between the Dutch ambassador and A.G.P.
But in reality, after Mortola made a very reduced new agreement with PoR, he continued his “Modernization Plan for the Port of B.A” only with the advice of the Port of Valencia.
It was a clear case, where NOT EVERYTHING THAT SHINED, WAS GOLD.
Now I have to tell my experience in a case where I found that not everything that shines is gold. On April 8, 2017, I received an email from Mr. René van der Plas, informing me that one of his colleagues had told him that he had met me personally and that he hoped to have a good contact with me.
RAB.Plas@portofrotterdam.com> To: "firstname.lastname@example.org"Sent: Saturday, April 8, 2017 3:20:03
But unfortunately, soon after that everything changed and I was informed by the PoR that they could not continue the contact. As they understood the MoU conditions, they were not allowed to do it. This is my experience that NOT ALL THAT SHINES IS GOLD (PART 3).
In many parts of the world, agreements have been made that seemed bright, but did not give the expected result.
And to demonstrate with examples why those initiatives did not give good results, the saying "NOT EVERYTHING THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD" is often used to start the analysis.
It seems that this applies to a case where several "protocols" were signed in March 2017 in the Netherlands during President Macri's State Visit.
Some with a show, with photos at the moment that the agreements were signed, while King Willem Alexander and
(Argentine-born) Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and President Macri and his wife observed the act.
There is little information available in Argentina, it is not even known how the list is of all protocols that were signed at that time.
This certainly deserves clarification and after more than 2 years we need to ask ourselves some questions, for example:
What is covered by EACH agreement?
How are the economic arrangements?
What exactly was agreed upon at the time of signing?
How was the execution implemented?
What results have these protocols had after 2 years?
Have all these protocols proven to be effective?
What agreements have already been fully implemented?
Which are the ones that will be complemented within the period of the government of President Macri?
In the hypothetical case that Macri will not be elected, the next government will be interested in finishing those which will not be complemented in this period?
Will it have possible negative consequences for our country if these are canceled before their termination?
The only information I found about this, is an official report published by the Dutch government, which few people in Argentina know, but which is quite interesting.
It is the official report of a speech by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, on March 28 during an official lunch.
(The title is in Dutch, "Toespraak minister-president Mark Rutte bij de regeringslunch". But the text is in English can be opened after reading this entree, by putting the title in Google).
In practice, it can be said that the only protocol that received much attention in Argentina has to do with a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) signed by the Trustee of the A.G.P. Mr. G. Mortola and the Director of "PoR", the "Consultants" part of the Port of Rotterdam International, Mr. René van der Plas.
Mr. Mórtola declares constantly in his very frequent interviews, that the Port of Rotterdam (PoR) is his main adviser.
But is this really the truth?
After a special tour for President Macri and his staff through the very interesting port of Rotterdam, the MoU between PoR and the A.G.P was signed.
This was one of the cases, where there are photos where King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands together with President Macri and his wife observed the ceremony.
In another part of this site you can find the photo.
It has always been understood that one of the most important parts of this MoU would be the advice of PoR for the Modernization Plan of the Port of Buenos Aires.
But has the MoU actually been used for the complete "Plan"?
Or was PoR's intervention marginal?
What has really happened?
When the MoU was signed in March 2017, Mr. Mortola had already worked a year with a Spanish consultant, A.L.G. and the port of Valencia.
There are no public reports of these consulting contracts and there is nothing that clearly demonstrates which parts A.G.P. has used of the different contracts which were made with the different advisors.
And there is a saying in all languages, which says: "Many hands in the pot spoil the stew.
This already has serious consequences, as can be read in many entries in this blog, but the AGP continues with its constant declarations that the port of Rotterdam would be the main consultant.
But there is no doubt that this is NOT what has really happened.
This is clearly a case, where we should ask these questions:
What does each contract cover with each consultant?
How was the execution implemented? How was the Plan finished?
What matters have REALLY been implemented in the 2 years after the signing of the MoU between A.G.P. and the port of Rotterdam?
The only thing that is known about the Plan of A.G.P. is that there are large real estate projects on land that belonged to the State railways and to the port of Buenos Aires, in a way that many consider illegal.
In a meeting in June 2018 of the Argentine Shippers Council and Mr. Mortola of A.G.P. a written question was made to Mr. Mortola, if the Port Modernization Plan of Buenos Aires has the approval of the Port of Rotterdam.
But he refused to answer.
The question was posed by me to the Port of Rotterdam, which also refused to give information.
But there is information “off the record” of people from the Port of Rotterdam that very little has been contributed by PoR in the Plan of A.G.P., but that they could not answer questions, because it is prohibited in the MoU.
One of the few things that are definitely known about the Modernization Plan is that it has received serious comments from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD / ITF).
It is the most important entity in the world in this matter.
Regarding the Port of Buenos Aires, O.E.C.D./I.T.F. has published a Paper in October 2018.
THE CONTAINER PORT OF BUENOS AIRES IN THE MEGA-SHIP ERA, INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT FORUM DISCUSSION PAPER, NO. 12, 2018.)
Notwithstanding all this, the Ministry of Transport has made the international tender.
In the second part we will continue with some examples of this entree in my blog: “NOT ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD”
Something about the possible roles that two possible interested parties may play in the future: The port of
Singapore and the Chinese with their plan One Belt One Road.
Those who know me well know that I have no political interest, that I am very persistent, but NOT HAUGHTY and that my only concern in this new crisis has to do with the future of my grandchildren.
In a very few cases, people who I did NOT ASK, have given testimony of these characteristics. Now I feel a need to receive that support.
In this crisis I have been forced to look often at the televisión-program A24 to keep up with events.
Yesterday, May 19th, I listened at 2:00 pm to the important visions of Mr. Alejandro Sangenis, "Coach in verbal and non-verbal communication".
On the other hand, I had very much in mind the article in the newspaper La Nación: “Ausculting the silent hearts of the disenchanted”, which undoubtedly reflects the thoughts of many inhabitants of this beautiful country.
That's why I decided to make this new entry in my blog.
After that I will make some changes of position of several articles, to adapt them to what is considered to be important subjects in this difficult moment.The aforementioned recent article by La Nación describes quite well that the government of President Macri has committed undeniable errors.
But one can also deduce, that the “objectives” have been to make real changes that are ESSENTIAL to develop the great potential of Argentina, as no other previous government has tempted to comply.
The most serious errors according to the article have to do with the ECONOMY.
The only experience that I have has to do with TRANSPORTATION, which is of great importance in the ECONOMY.
I believe that, in Transportation Policy, mistakes have been made, which the government may deny.
But to deny it, WITHOUT RISKING TO LOSE VOTES (always according to my modest opinion), they must prove that I am wrong and not the civil-servants, the government officials who have made the TRANSPORT -POLICY PLANS.
That is why I now make a request to the officials of “Planning” and especially those of the A.G.P., to read first of all another old article in the newspaper La Nación: INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION of January 5, 2016.It can be opened simply by putting in Google "La Nacion, INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION".
It was the last article that La Nación accepted from me, after more than 60 others in their Foreign Trade Supplement.
And then they should read in this blog the entry of May 17th THE MODERNIZATION PLAN OF P.B.A. AND THE TENDERING OF THE CONCESSION OF THE DREDGING of WATERWAYS from Greater Rosario to the Ocean.
And after all that to read in the entry named "Some readers may be interested in the background and the evolution of this web site."
At the end of this entry one can find this important article:
IN JANUARY 2016, THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF PORTS AND WATERWAYS (Spanish abreviation S.S.P. and V.N) TRIED TO FORM HIS "CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL” which failed.
This initiative did not have the expected results.
In this regard the entry:"Lessons that can be drawn from the failure of the Advisory Board of the Sub-Secretariat of Ports and V.N.),is very important.
And after having read those entries carefully, I suggest the civil servants who wish to prove that I am wrong, to do a long zapping in this blog.
And if they then still want to prove that I am the wrong one, that they say it publicly and that they propose who will be the qualified arbitrators that this important question requires.
I expect a prompt response. Antonio Zuidwijk
While the government invites political parties to reach an agreement of 10 points of State policies to which all candidates would be committed before the elections, an article was published today in several virtual magazines: Accelerating the-terms-to-give-the-port-of-Buenos-Aires-to a-sole-operator.
I have extracted some phrases from the article, to which Imade the following comments. Beginning of the first extract of the article: In fact, the national and international public tender will be launched next Thursday by the AGP with the objective of awarding the process between October and November.
1) Background of this website. 2) The first steps of the site. 3) Situation in August 2015. 4) Proposal January 2016. 5) To whom it is addressed. 6) The importance of Transportation. 7) The slogan of “Yes, you can”. 8) The justification for my alleged propaganda for the Murchison Group. 9) IN JANUARY 2016, A TENTATIVE WAS MADE TO OPEN A “CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF THE Sub-Secretariat of Ports and Waterways. (S.S.P. and V.N.).
This initiative did not have the expected results.
In this regard I already published an important note in this website in September 2016: “Lessons that can be drawn from the failed Advisory Board of the Sub-Secretariat of Ports and Waterways”.
Only for this VERY IMPORTANT POINT a translation has been made, which you can find at the end of this entree. But more info on the subject is already available in a special entree of 2018.
There is a website called “The Great North Region of Argentina”, which is a private initiative of 2003, with the aim of contributing to the integration process of the 10 northern provinces of Argentina, that can be opened in http://www.regionnortegrande.com.ar).
In this important site, where there is a lot of information about everything that has to do with this objective, a very important article was published on April 5 with the title: Hidrovía: the Chinese advance disturbs the Belgians and the lobby has already started.
From this article we extract and highlight the first part: In 2021 a new the concession contract will be made for the dredging of the Paraná-Paraguay when the present contract ends, with the company Hidrovía S.A. (formed by Emepa of Argentina and the Belgian company Jan de Nul). The labour-union of “ Dredging and Beaconing” already started a joint lobby together with the Rosario Stock Exchange, in order to obtain a marked participation in the bidding process. And mr. Gustavo Idígoras, the president of the Chamber of the Oil Industry of the Argentine Republic (CIARA) declared that the Argentine logistics sector sees the potential of this new contract as "the largest investment in a river-system in the whole world in the next 10 years".
Regarding this declaration, it is important to remember that on May 22, 2008, when the government announced that it was going to extend the contract of HIDROVÍA SA, which would expire in 2013, until the year 2021, the B.C.R.(Rosario Stock Exchange) organized a great event with the title: OPERATIONAL and INSTITUTIONAL OPTIMIZATION OF THE WATERWAY CALLED “HIDROVIA”.
Responding to an invitation from the B.C.R., to make a presentation of 30 minutes about the necessary "Port Infrastructure and the Waterway in the Argentine section of the River Paraguay-Paraná", I made a P.P.T. that can be found complete in this web-site.
After reading this article of April 5th 2019 in the website of “Region Norte Grande” and a earlier official announcement in the presss about the new tender for dredging, I dare say that this P.P.T. and two others I made about this subject, must be read complely again.
These other 2 PPTs were made in the “Timon Club of B.A”. in August 2008 and another in the UNIREN Public Hearing of February 2009 in Barranqueras and can also be found in this blog.
In one of the first slides of the P.P.T. in the B.C.R. on May 22, 2008, I warned that in a presentation of 30 minutes, one can only give some main points that must be analyzed with ample time for each point in a special event dedicated to this subject.
As a first point, it was necessary to clarify the state in May 2008 of the renegotiation process of the contract between the government and Hidrovía S.A., which had been going on without any public information for 5 years.
As a second point it was necessary to inform in what state the very praiseworthy "MASTER PLAN FOR THE NAVIGATION SYSTEM OF THE RIVER PARANÁ” was in May 2008, WHICH HAD BEEN ANNOUNCED IN JUNE 2007 by the Under-Secretary of Ports and Waterways.
Regarding the "renegotiation of the contract", I quoted in May 2008 in the PPT of the B.C.R. an article of a magazine, Megatrade, of July 2007 with information that a letter of understanding had been signed between the Government and Hidrovia S.A.to increase the guaranteed draft from 32 to 36 feet, but that there was no information of the content of this letter of understanding. Only an entry had been made in a government website, UNIREN informing that the agreement was signed and that only the PUBLIC AUDIENCE was missing.
My requests to UNIREN to give me more information of the agreement for the presentation of the B.C.R. of May 2008, did not receive a response.
With reference to the "Master Plan of the S.S.P. and VN, I observed that at this point in 2008 it should be taken into account that a "master plan is an action plan drawn up at the highest level, which identifies the work that must be done to complete an important project in a set period".
And after this introduction, I suggested in the PPT that the first question for the debate of May 22nd 2008 in the B.C.R. should be: If it is the intention to extend the contract for Hidrovía S.A. until 2021, would it not be logical to make a detailed Master Plan FIRST, that would cover the needs for the entire "Argentine stretch" and AFTER THAT, renegotiate the contract?.
On May 22 2008 I posed the question: What is preferable, work with planning as organized countries do or continue with the improvisation that characterizes Argentina?
Now, more than 10 years later, one can read that the the texts of the tender condition are being prepared for the work that according to Mr. Gustavo Idígoras, will be "the largest river investment in the world in the next 10 years."
But nothing of the 2 points of P.P.T. of May 22, 2008 in the B.C.R. has received any attention.
Neither was any attention paid in January 2016 when the General Ports Administration, A.G.P. took charge of the "planning of ports and waterways", INFRINGING the best Law of Argentina, Law 24,093 on Port Activities, which stipulates that the UNDER-SECRETARY OF PORTS AND WATERWAYS, is the National Application Authority of this Law.
That's why I invite you to read the article in this blog: The lessons that can be learned from the unsuccessful attempt of the S.S.P. and V.N. from January 15, 2016, to form his Advisory Board.
And only after that, one should look for the PPTs of May 22, 2008 in the B.C.R. and the Barranqueras Public Hearing in February 2009 and read them carefully.
For almost 11 years, nobody has paid any attention to the 2 main-points of the P.P.T. of May 22nd 2008 in the B.C.R. and thus it has been PROVEN THAT ARGENTINA STILL PREFERS “IMPROVISATION” INSTEAD OF “PLANNING”.
In this blog, one can find a lot of information on this subject, but the following overview will give a wider picture of the cooperation between the Dutch government and the Port of Buenos Aires. (Not only PoR).
We shall start with this picture on the “Argentine side”, with a recent tweet of March 1st 2019 A.G.P. of Puerto Buenos Aires.
In this picture, you can see the good relation between the Dutch ambassador and A.G.P.
But not all that glitters is gold.
Having good relations, is the task of the Ambassador.
He has nothing to do with the way Mr.Mortola uses the consultancy –contract with Port of Rotterdam and probably he has no idea how the real scope of this work is.
And it is clear that with this tweet, Mr. Mortola intends to créate the impression of how fluent his contact with the Dutch government is.
And apparently, Mr.Mortola never heard a saying which my new companions in Dodero said to me about us Dutchmen, when I immigrated in 1956:
In business there is nobody like the Dutch,
They give very little and ask very much.
Text of the tweet: We received the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Argentina, @NieuwenkampRoel, we talked about the progress of our #PuertoFederal and the importance of strengthening international maritime trade. (From this tweet one could understand that also the Minister of Transport participated in part of this meeting).
As said before, in many parts of this blog I have raised a question, that never received a clear answer:
What advises of the PoR have really been used by Mr.Mortola, who always publishes articles that the Port of Rotterdam is his PRINCIPAL ADVISER??
This started the day he returned from the Netherlands in April 2017, when he declared that he now had the most important port of Europe as his adviser AND THIS WOULD BE ALL FREE OF CHARGE, which he repeated many times. But PoR cannot do such work without charging a fee.
This question is very important, because there are international criticisms and if PoR makes no objections and let Mr. Mortola say constantly that his principal advisers are PoR, an eventual failure of this Modernization Plan, will also be attributed to PoR.
Therefore a good analysis is in the interest of the Port of Rotterdam. For a wider picture of the cooperation between the Dutch government and the Port of Buenos Aires.(Not only PoR), I shall start with the occasion of the state visit on March 28, 2017 by President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, who has close contact with the Queen of the Netherlands.
On that State Visit, several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU´s) were signed.
One of these was signed by Mr. Van der Plas, head of Port of Rotterdam International (PoR) and Mr. Mórtola, head of A.G.P., after Queen Maxima had organized a tour for President Macri through the Port of Rotterdam.
In relation with this ceremony, there was an important speech by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte at the government lunch of March 28, 2017.
Some important parts, which I believe to be of great importance, are as follows:
You represent the country that produced the most popular pope in decades, not to mention la Reina Maxima de Holanda.
You once said, 'If we Argentines dare to unite we will be unstoppable.
And that's precisely what we're going to talk about today.
About what happens when Argentines unite.
But also “What happens when Dutch people unite”.
And even better, what happens when our two countries unite and join forces.
Anyone who studies Dutch history knows that dialogue and compromise are constant themes.
A personal highlight of my career was the agreement we negotiated in 2013 with Dutch employers and trade unions. The economy had hit a low point. We knew we had to make reforms to boost economic growth and employment. But we couldn't do it alone.We had to have the Dutch people on board. And we succeeded.
That's why we're also keen to share our approach with you.
And with that in mind, I'm delighted that we've just signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at exchanging knowledge about the dialogue between employers, unions and public authorities. A fitting illustration of the close bond between our countries. (Note: several other MoU´s were signed that day.)
(The complete text can be opened in google: Speech of Mark Rutte on march 28 2017 state visit mauricio macri of argentina)
And after this short “overview” from both the Dutch and Argentine sides, I wish to repeat the question I have raised in several notes in this blog: WHAT HAS THE REAL CONSULTANCY WORK OF PORT OF ROTTERDAM BEEN IN THE PLAN OF MR. MORTOLA?
Soon an international tender will be published and I believe these points deserve attention.
I shall give my impressions in the next entries in this blog, with some details.
(Those who wish to read the complete text of the speech of Mark Rutte on march 28 2017, can open it here: See more.
First information about the “Lessons that can be drawn from the failed Advisory Board of the Sub-Secretariat of Ports and Waterways” can be found here: See more.
HPC completes yard optimisation and simulation study for Chilean Puerto Central.Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC) presented the most promising simulation outcome to Chilean Puerto Central (PCE) concerning the yard optimization and simulation study to the full satisfaction of Puerto Central. The presentation was conducted by HPC's Head of Simulation, Dr. Nils Kemme and Terminal Optimisation Specialist, Pascal Brockmann. Specifically, the benefits arising from the simulation are an insight into future-proof multi-purpose operation that enables advanced container operations without affecting bulk and
Principio del formulario
Final del formulario
Moreover, HPC developed operational optimization options, as as enhanced cargo stacking strategies, allocation patterns of RTG and reallocation of terminal areas for container stacking, eventually leading to improved traffic flows, equipment productivities and safety.
The options above were trialled by simulation, focusing on various traffic volume forecasts and harmonised cargo operations.
Furthermore, HPC acknowledged the most auspicious optimization options, that are helpful to PCE. The options are:
Rise of the quayside productivity about 20%, without the addition yard handling equipment;
Capacity development of more than 40% by optimizing existing operations and reallocating available yard areas;
Ensuring the already existent service levels at the gate for external container trucks, despite increased traffic volumes.
In this regard, HPC advised PCE on the sequence of options' implementation. As of now, PCE already started the first phase.
This is an example of the progress made by Chile with the port-plans for Valparaiso and San Antonio.
When the debates started several years ago, first of all working-groups were formed with well informed participants in the supply chains, to gather important data.
Then Round Table Conferences were organized and after that step by step the plans started to make shape.
In 2016 Mr. Olaf Merk of O.E.C.D. /I.T.F. advised Argentina to follow this example and in April 2017 he was in B.A. with a group of international experts who were available for 2 days to assist in in a ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE organized by the Sub-Secerariat of Ports and Waterways.
But the Sub-Secerariat of Ports and Waterways had not prepared anybody . Sub-Secerariat of Ports and Waterways
A Plan shown by a member of the Working Group PENSAR, which had made a proposal in November 2014 for then candidate for President, Mr. Mauricio Maxri, was not even considered in this so-called Round Table Conference, about which ample information is given in this website.
Also from this many lessons can be learned.
On February 25th I published an entry in the Spanish part of my website, which is intended for the ADVISERS of all candidates for the presidential elections:Why should Argentina NOW form a joint committee of the EXECUTIVE POWER AND THE LEGISLATIVE POWER for a very important issue: A TRANSPORTATION POLICY for the country.
Proof that this is necessarycan be found in the following articles in the local press:
1) An article dated February 17 by Mr. Gonzalo Mortola, Comptroller of the General Ports Administration, A.G.P .: "In Buenos Aires there will be no monopoly, there will be competition".
2) An article of February 21 of Mr. Daniel Caso in www.tradenews.com.ar: "Why the new Port of Buenos Aires can be more expensive, legal uncertainty on the margin". (Free translation IN “READ MORE”).(Note: This article is a supplement to his previous article of November 21 2018 in Tradenews,: "Port management of the Nation within the framework of a bankrupt State").
3) And finally an article in the most important newspaper, Clarín of Sunday, February 24, of Mr. Alejandro Borensztein, of which I quote the main part: "At this point of the facts, it is clear that the Macri government has the best team to win elections, but it is costing a little bit to find a team that has some idea of how a country is governed.Moreover, perhaps the most serious mistake has been to try to govern with the same team that only serves to win elections.
It is curious, considering that we are talking about a president who once learned that it is very difficult to play the local tournament and the Libertadores with the same team. (NOTE:When Macri was president of Boca, the football team).
Will they give him the opportunity in October to try to put together another better team? "(The elections are in October).
All these articles have to do with our subject and are clear indications that it is advisable for all candidates for president, to support this request.
Everybody in Argentina knows that such a Commission is not going to give an immediate result, but it must be done NOW so that the candidate who wins the elections will have the base to form in January 2020 A “REALLY PREPARED COMMISSION”.And to avoid that in January 2020 the same mistakes will be made which were committed in January 2016, as the following story will tell:
Those really interested in this, the advisors of the candidates for president, should start reading the comments to the article by Gonzalo Mortola, Comptroller of the A.G.P.which we mentiones before:
Mórtola: "In Buenos Aires there will be no monopoly, there will be competition".
This article, which is full of selve-praise is clear: it has to do with a policy of the Modernization Plan of the P.B.A.
But in a well-organized country, this PLAN would be an ACCESSORY, a by-product of the TRANSPORTATION POLICY OF A COUNTRY.
In Argentina most people agree, that the country HAS NOT HAD A TRANSPORTATION POLICY IN 6 or 7 DECADES.Many point to this failure as one of the reasons, why Argentina could never realize its great potential and was never a competitive country. Read more.
Normal exchange of opinions is out of the question.
Possibly problems that have to do with the Modernization Plan for the port of Buenos Aires, a plan with a price-tag of US$ 1.600 to US$ 2000 MILLION are amongst the most important.
This plan is necessary, but many people are convinced that it does not need such an expensive solution, which will probably prove to be ill-spent money.
This was the opinion in 2015 of a Working Group for candidate for president, Mauricio Macri.
But in 2016 a man was named to take care of the question, who had no experience in ports and who refused to listen to those who had worken in “PENSAR” the think-tank of the now governing party.(PRO).
His name is Gonzalo Mortola, head of the General Ports Administration, A.G.P. This debate has gone on for 3 years now.
One of the matters which were discussed in the debates, had to do with the consultants that Mr. Mortola has used to make his plans.
Every week he publishes a declaration , naming the Port of Rotterdam as his principal consultant.(PoR)
However local people doubt that this is true and have made questions both to PoR and Mr. Morola, but both refused to give an answer.
Soon the tender will be published for the concession for 35 years with a possible extension of 15 years.
But besides criticism of members of “PENSAR”, institutes like O.E.C.F./I.T.F. did so in a bulletin (169) of October 20018 and C.E.P.A.L. in January in publications in the local press.
This was the reason for me to make entrees in several Facebooks on February 9th:
Why is it necessary to form, as soon as possible, a joint committee of the EXECUTIVE POWER AND THE LEGISLATIVE POWER IN CONGRESS. (Facebooks like:"I support Macri, Vidal, Lilita" and others).
Here are the reasons: Read more.
Mr. Manfred Menzel is a friend of mine with whom I first met in 1986, when he was in charge of Rogge Marine of Bremen, who made an excellent MASTER-PLAN for the port of Buenos Aires.
When I recently made him a question, he tried to read this English part of my blog and he told me immediately something which I myself knew already for a long time: THIS BLOG NEEDS AN INDEX, where some articles must be summarized.
But that is not an easy task if you have no organization behind you and depend on a friend who can only make the entrances in this blog when he has some spare time.
But today I decided to start with this and heeded his advice and my friend who publishes my articles had time and just made a first explanation in the Spanish text, which I shall translate in part.
But this will again be a long entry.
Now I would like to receive a note from somebody who can help me and make a shorter note, without losing clarity. I will publish it in a new entry with his name.
There is a lot of information in this blog, which is not intended for people who do not want to read things that take more than 15 minutes, as many pretend.
As of January 2016, many articles were published on TRANSPORTATION POLICIES and PORTS POLICIES, WHICH "DESERVE LOT OF ATTENTION IN ARGENTINA AND RECEIVE VERY LITTLE". At a certain point I began to make observations about things that I believe were going wrong and which should be debated.
Already in the book of 2001 I criticized an action of A.G.P.: THEY ANNOUNCED REPEATEDLY THAT THEY WOULD MAKE A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES, BUT NEVER DID SO. Therefore already in 2001 I clearly mentioned in my book that the complex issue NEEDED PUBLIC DEBATES.
And over time this blog has been transformed in a place with a clear objective:
I TRY TO MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE VERY NECESSARY PUBLIC DEBATES.
I started a series of articles with information to show that to my understanding there were flaws in the way PLANNING IN TRANSPORT AND PORTS PROBLEMS were attacked.
In all well-organized countries there are people who publish their ideas and if they receive "support", currents of opinion are formed.
Together they try to collect the necessary details, which are then analyzed in ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES, WHICH ARE THE BASIS OF PLANNING in countries that progress.
(According to a Spanish dictionary, "Planning is drawing plans for the execution of a work." But in this blog there are examples that in our country it is sometimes the other way around: they begin the work and then they draw the plans).
And a topic that receives a lot of attention in this blog, is the PLAN OF MODERNIZATION OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES OF THE A.G.P., WHICH PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE COUNTRY.
It is sure that this blog needs to be restructured and I shall try to do that, starting with a first type of index, to indicate where one can find the different articles that refer to this topic: THE PLAN OF MODERNIZATION OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES OF THE A.G.P., from here on called “The Plan for P.B.A.”.
The main data of some articles will be summarized, for a better understanding.
The first article that should be read in this series is in a field in the Spanish part below the graph “WHERE DOES ARGENTINA GO IN TRANSPORTATION?
WILL ARGENTINA BE ABLE TO LEARN LESSONS FROM THE FAILED INITIATIVE OF THE EX-SUBSECRETARY OF PORTS AND WATERWAYS, JORGE METZ , TO FORM HIS CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL IN JANUARY 2016?
Mr. Jorge Metz was the new Sub-Secretary of Ports and Waterways (S.S.P. and V.N) who took office on December 10, 2015.As a candidate for the position, he had participated in 2014 and 2015 in the PENSAR Working Group, which worked since 2010 for the presidential candidate Mauricio Macri.
In May and November 2014, this group drafted some basic ideas about the issues of “S.S.P. and V.N”, with a memorandum and a PPT.
Before assuming, J. METZ wrote to some participants of the group, his ideas for his future function, which included a continuation of a previous Government Plan that had an excellent start, but a sad end.
His first decision was to make a Consultative Council and on January 15, 2016 he met with 5 guests to explain their ideas.
At that first meeting, he announced his intention to hold meetings every 15 days.
In the second meeting, which was only held in March, Mr. G. Mortola, introduced himself as the new “trustee”/ auditor of A.G.P.
At the third meeting held in April, Mr. German Bussi was presented as Secretary of Planning of the Ministry of Transport.
In May 2016 Mr. Metz greeted his first guests and thanked them for their collaboration.
In June 206 a "MINUTA" was made with 50 pages of the April meeting.
In December, Mr. Mortola informed the members of the Consultative Council of the S.S.P. and V.N. that the “sick patient had died”, without reporting the illness he suffered.
The Group recommended to form a MINISTRY of TRANSPORTATION, which Argentina never had. The new government effectively did so.
As you may have understood from the information about THE FAILED INITIATIVE OF THE EX-SUBSECRETARY OF PORTS J.METZ, my views received absolutely no attention from the new civil servants.
However, I published my views in this blog and for that reason I ask your attention to the graphics in the Spanis part: WHERE DOES ARGENTINA GO IN TRANSPORTATION?
In the data published by the Ministry of Transport or in its organizational chart, I cannot find that at some point this scheme was analyzed.However, two students from the University of Lanús made a small PPT, which I will insert soon in the Spanish part of his blog.
What is important now, is to bear in mind that the Minister of Transport did not pay attention to what was needed in “the medium term”.
He demanded the new S.S. P and V.N. TO LOWER SOME HIGH COSTS IMMEDIATELY, WHICH WERE BASED ON BAD PRAXIS OF THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT.
However, the difficulties in making these corrections were underestimated, which affected many stakeholders, who tenaciously opposed it.
The result was that Jorge Metz, the S.S.P. and V.N. was “exhausted”.
Meanwhile the PLANNING that by LAW 24,093 corresponds to S.S.P. and V.N., was left in other hands.
After going through the whole blog since its inception, it seems to me that the best third step is a very recent entry in the Spanish part, where one can find proof that there are other people who have the same intention that guides me.
It's an entry about the “FOUNDATION NUESTRO MAR” that writes in a blog, www.nuestromar.org.
It is very important to know what were the real advices that the A.G.P. received from the ports of Valencia, Barcelona and the port of Rotterdam.
It is in the Spanish part with the title:
WHAT DOES THE PORT OF ROTTERDAM EXACTLY DO FOR THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES?
An important English magazine, CONTAINER-MANAGEMENT DEDICATED AN IMPORTANT ARTICLE IN ITS NOVEMBER 2018 EDITION TO THE MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES.
For Argentine readers it is very important to also open the original publication which has some very important graphics that could not be copied in the Spanish translation.
This step, which for now is the last in this series, will take more time.
We are going to ask for attention to two entries: one I made on October 29 and on October 26.
In the October 29, there is information on the article in the newspaper La Nación by Alejandro López, Intermodal Logistics Manager of Hamburg-Sued: "The Port of Buenos Aires must necessarily be redefined". (https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2184961) and of the third Multisectorial Meeting of the Argentine Port Council (CPA).
In the entrance of October 26, work a panel of the “third Multisectorial Meeting of the Argentine Port Council (CPA),was analized:"Building the value chain in the Port Community”, which is mentioned again on October 29.
Why do I think that those publications are important deserve attention?
Because they reinforce without a doubt that this country needs several well organized Round Table Conferences!!!
CONTAINER-MANAGEMENT published an article on Argentina in its November 2018 edition, with the title LAUGH NOW, CRY LATER.
The Modernization Plan for the Port of Buenos Aires may address some immediate issues, but serious long-term worries remain, as Emmanuel Mair reports.
In this article, you can find opinions of interviews with Dinesh Sharma of Drewry, with Olaf Merk, Ports and shipping expert at the International Transport Forum (I.T.F.), part of OECD and of my interview with Emmanuel Mair.
In the published article a small misprint occurred and where it says "Panamax-vessels" it should read "ex-Panamax vessels"(of 4.500 to 5000 TEU).This has been corrected in the "online version".
The full article can be opened here.
The comments can be opened here.
It strengthens a very good view written in Spanish by Captain Daniel Caso, which you can open in this link: “La gestión portuaria de la Nación en el marco de un Estado quebrado”, por Daniel Caso.See more
(A free translation with the most important points will follow later).
At the request of its readers, the "NUESTROMAR FOUNDATION" has dedicated in July 2017, a special space where it collects articles, news and opinions about the future of the Port of Buenos Aires.
As you can see in a column to the right of the reports in its web-site WWW.NUESTROMAR.ORG, NUESTROMAR FOUNDATION has encouraged its readers to express their comments and to send opinion articles, studies and related news for this “special discussion space”.
In this way, comprehensive approaches for the best port development of Buenos Aires, the region, and Argentina could be provided among all. (See sector “COMPILATED ARTICLES”).
No one can deny that this contribution of NUESTROMAR is something that the COUNTRY URGENTLY needs.
But unfortunately this exceptional offer of this FOUNDATION, WHICH WITH PRIDE CAN PROVE MANY ACHIEVEMENTS OF MANY YEARS IN ITS WEB-SITE (WWW.NUESTROMAR.ORG), DID NOT RECEIVE THE EXPECTED ANSWERS.
But the reading of 2 recent articles, together with the comments made to the article of November 21 with the title: IMPORTANT REFLECTIONS IN THE THIRD CONGRESS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CITY OF BUENOS AIRES, “CITY-PORT”, contain undeniable lessons for the country.
In the commentary to the article of November 21 you can read:WHY IS ARGENTINA NOT A COMPETITIVE COUNTRY?
ANSWER: BECAUSE NO PUBLIC DEBATES ARE MADE, WHERE THE INTERESTS OF ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE DISCUSSED AND SOLUTIONS ARE SOUGHT WHICH ARE IN THE GENERAL INTEREST.
AND AN OPEN DISCUSSION WILL SHOW, WITHOUT ANY DOUBT, THE FOLLOWING GREAT LESSONS WHICH THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE LAST 70 YEARS HAVE NOT WANTED TO LEARN.
HOW ARE THESE LESSONS?
1) THAT TRANSPORTATION IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY.
2) THAT TRANSPORTATION POLICIES REQUIRE DEEP STUDIES, LIKE SOME VERY COMPETITIVE COUNTRIES HAVE PROVEN BETWEEN 1970 AND 1990.
3) “PORT POLICIES” ARE AN IMPORTANT PART WITHIN THE TRANSPORTATION POLICY.
4) THAT THESE POLICIES SHOULD BE “STATE POLICIES” AND NOT A GOVERNMENT POLICY.
5) THAT THESE POLICIES SHOULD BE FORMED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE EXECUTIVE POWER AND THE LEGISLATIVE POWER.
6) THAT EVERYTHING REQUIRES A DEEP PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL GROUPS.
And other clear COMMENTS SHOW SOME UNDENIABLE EXAMPLES of SERIOUS ERRORS OF THE PAST.
In March 2017 my family in the Netherlands sent me this picture of March 28th when a Memo of Understanding was signed between the Port of Rotterdam and the General Ports Administration (A.G.P.) of Argentina, while the King and Queen of the Netherlands, together with President Macri and his wife were watching the ceremony.
A better picture is available in Port of Rotterdam or A.G.P. in Buenos Aires.
At that moment I had great hopes that Argentina would finally put an end to 70 years of LACK OF PORT-POLICIES and TRANSPORT POLICIES (which go hand in hand).
But now I have to begin this long, but very important entry, which is the most difficult one I ever made in this website, because I am a Dutchman.
To begin this, I would like to invite you to have a quick “look” at my entry of October 23rd: The Argentine crisis began on December 14th , 2017 when a "Pension reform" was discussed in the Argentine Congress, which caused serious incidents inside and outside Congress.
From that moment the crisis deepened and at the end of August pre-occupying articles began to appear in the newspapers that indicated a serious aggravation.
And then go “scrollingg” quickly till THE CRISIS IN ARGENTINA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES. After having done so, you will have a good idea of my “worries”, and then please come back to this part. Those who have read this website know some of my experiences between 1978 and 1998, when I attended three short classes in TEMPO, the International Consultancy and Training Department of the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management, when it still was a port of the Municipality.
TEMPO was created by A GREAT MAN. Mr. Henk Molenaar, the President of the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management, who made the MASTER PLAN FOR THE PORT OF ROTTERDAM IN 1978, with “MAASVLAKTE ONE”, WHICH STILL IS THE BASE FOR THE POLICIES of the most important port of Europe.
He convinced the Municipal Port Management of Rotterdam to create a “CHEAP AND EFFICIENT school for developing countries”, reasoning that if the Port of Rotterdam wished to send containers to, or receive them from developing countries, they should help them to start on the right track.That is the reason that many “Port-authorities” learned their lessons in TEMPO of the Port of Rotterdam. With advisers of the Port of Rotterdam (PoR) like I knew in those years between 1978 and 1998, I felt sure that the Port of Buenos Aires was entering a phase of great development.
However this has not been the case and I feel obliged to give the following information.Soon after March 28th 2017, Mr. Mortola, (the “trustee” of A.G.P. who signed the MoU) started with the propaganda that the Port of Rotterdam would join the group of advisers who already assisted him. (Those of the Ports of Valencia and Barcelona).
According to his publications, this new assistance would be “free of charge”! But this was a serious misunderstanding and in the first meeting with the Port of Rotterdam he was informed that this was not “free of charge”.
Never any information was given about the scope of the contract between PoR and A.G.P.
On many occasions, Mr.Mortola declared that the PoR were his principal advisors.
He also did so in a meeting with the “CONSEJO DE CARGADORS”, on June 7th 2018 where he explained his plan of modernization for the port of B.A., with a price-tag of over a billion US dollars.
On that occasion I made 2 written questions, at the invitation of the CONSEJO, which you can open at the end.
In short, the questions were if the Port of Rotterdam had agreed with the high investment and if estimates had been made how much of this would be for account of the Argentine State and what would be for the account of the new concessionaire.
He just answered with one word YES and some strange remarks so that people in the audience could understand that he did not pay much attention to the written questions in which a written answer was required.
The written answer was never given.
This was a reason for me to write a letter to Mr. André van der Plas of the Port of Rotterdam and ask him if I was true what Mr.Mortola had answered on June 7th that the PoR agreed with his plan of over a billion dollars.
He answered that PoR could not give information.
As you can see in the entry A REPORT OF THE A.G.P.-CONFERENCE OF SEPTEMBER 20TH :¨PUERTO BUENOS AIRES-PUERTO COMPETITIVO”, Mr. Lopez Saubidet, a Director of A.G.P., declared that the PLAN FOR MODERNIZATION OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES, was made ONLY WITH THE ADVISE OF THE PORT OF VALENCIA.
Therefore I repeated my question to Mr. Van der Plas.
Again he told me that PoR could not give information and why this was so.
From this I could understand that the PoR have advised from a strategic commercial perspective and that it is up to the port itself to what extent it uses the insights, reflections and analyzes that they have provided as input for its plans.
Those who are really interested in this sad history, should see the powerpoint presentation I made on 28.10.2016 in the yearly seminar of Ports, Waterways, Multimodal Transport and Foreign Trade Open here.
The 2 written questions in Spanish I made on June 7th 2018, at the invitation of the CONSEJO, can be opened here.
On Thursday, October 25, I read the article by Alejandro López, Manager of Intermodal Logistics of Hamburg-Sued in La Nación: "The Port of Buenos Aires must necessarily be redefined" (https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2184961).
I made a comment to this good article.
And on Friday 26 I received 2 articles from the “Port Portal of Chile”, with information from the third Multisectorial Meeting of the Argentine Port Council (CPA).
I believe that the "introduction to the subject" of this Chilean report is broader than the report of the C.P.A.
What things of those 3 publications are so important?
And why do I think these articles deserve so much attention?
Because they reinforce without any doubt and in a forceful way that the country needs several well organized Round Tables!!!
And those Roundtables should start with one on the Modernization Plan of the Port of Buenos Aires, which is a clear case where you can CHECK THE FAILURES OF OUR SYSTEMS.
There are two reasons:1st) Because for the first time in an event of this kind, good attention was paid to the complete "Logistics Chain"/Supply Chain. (It was in the panel "Building the value chain in the Port Community") 2nd) In a logistic chain there are many "opposite" interests and only with a honest and serious examination of these particular interests, can the general interest be found. AND IF WE WANT TO GET A COMPETITIVE COUNTRY, WE MUST SEEK THE GENERAL INTEREST. In this way the rights of 44 million Argentines are defended.
And this is a responsibility of THE AUTHORITIES, both the executive power and the legislative branch, which must make the laws for an efficient transport.
These points should not only be analyzed in round tables: THEY SHOULD ALSO BE ANALYZED BY CONGRESS, WHICH MUST BE AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPORTATION LAWS, WHICH ARE NECESSARY FOR AN EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION. AND TO HAVE AN EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION, INTERMODAL TRANSPORTATION MUST BE APPLIED, a topic that touched Mr. Alejandro Lopez.
It is a shame for a country the size of Argentina, with its rivers and railways, that 93% of cargoes go by truck, many on roads parallel to waterways and railways. This proves that Argentina does not take advantage of the existing system.
No enormous plans to repair 1.700 km are needed, plans must be made to go step by step, integrating systems that can be repaired in short terms.
And the Atlantic Ocean and the EXCELLENT River "Paraguay-Paraná" and the Uruguay River are important navigable waterways.And the broad gauge railway system, which is 20% of the total, is in acceptable conditions of use. On this topic you can find many PPTs on this website, which should be viewed in conjunction with this article. But how to organize a "Round Table" (R.T) and who are responsible TO PREPARE THE PARTICIPANTS? It is the responsibility of all the business chambers, which participate in the logistic chains, that each ONE defends WITH RESPONSIBILITY, ITS PARTICULAR interest.
And for this each chamber must prepare its representative for that Round Table and ensure that he has sufficient knowledge of the COMPLETE operation of the Logistics Chain (C.L. or Supply Chain).And for an "International Supply Chain”, where Maritime transport in Argenina participates in more than 80%, UNCTAD schemes must be applied, which “chart” the Logistics Chains.
There are several examples in this blog.Many talk about the big expenses for our exporters and that they would pay huge sums to foreign fleets to do the sea transport.
But the representatives of the "authorities" in the "Round Table" should know that Maritime Transport is still basically governed by an International Convention, the Hague Rules of 1924.And the representatives of the "Cargo" will know that our international trade is still governed basically by the conditions of the old Inco-terms: "CIF" and "FOB", which were made on those old “Hague Rules of 1924. And that we buy "CIF" and sell "FOB".
That is to say that the maritime transport is almost entirely contracted and paid by the foreigners who sell us and buy our products.
And although much of the cost of shipping is reflected in the price the producer receives (and what the consumer pays), it is not something that the producer pays and can directly control.And the importance of Customs, which is mentioned, requires more attention: It seems that an observation published in the 90s by UNCTAD, was written for Argentina: that a port can offer the best service at the best price and that, despite this, the cargo goes to the port of a neighboring country because of the "difficulties" presented by Customs.
In the prologue of my first book of 1984 on "use of containers", I wrote that it was also intended for the Customs officers who had to make the customs rules.
Now 34 years later we see in these articles that several points did not receive attention.
I do not to wish to waste your time and will make new entry in parts, step by step.
Nobody wants to read more than 15 minutes in this modern world.
In my next entry I will publish a Power-point presentation of 2017 in C.P.A.U., the Professional Council of Architechture and Urbanisation, which is interested in the relation PORT AND CITY.
Those who are truly interested, could already search it in this site.
This Plan deserves a debate to compare it with the monster-plan of A.G.P.
Today I received two notes from PortalPortuario.cl (the main specialized media of the port industry in Chile), which are very important for our country.
The first, of October 23rd , with the information that the Argentine Port Council held its III Multisectorial Meeting, with many participants, who made very important statements, which all should be read.
For the first time, as far as is publicly known, there were many real STAKEHOLDERS THAT WERE INVITED TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS IN A DEBATE IN AN OFICIAL ENTITY.
Some were excellent, but in some cases were only expressions of wishes, which need more action.But the most important information can be read in the second message of October 25th , with data that emerged during the panel "Building the value chain in the Port Community".
In this panel the vision of the port authority, the generators of cargo and a shipping company discussed the situation of the Tecplata Terminal.
There you can read important statements that do not appear normally in our press:
For instance: The formation and strengthening of shipping alliances are a factor that would be preventing the activation of TecPlata in the Port of La Plata.
Representatives of the Port of La Plata and an important liner company, Cosco Shipping, discussed why Tecplata, since its inauguration in 2015, has not had any movement , despite being - 100 thousand dollars-!!! cheaper per call for the liner company than the Port of Buenos Aires.
At the table, moderated by the renowned Argentine journalist, Emiliano Galli, José María Dodds, president of the Management Consortium of the Port of La Plata, said that "to the lines, I understand the business situation that there is a drop in the level of cargo of containers, but I also tell you that when a port makes an economic offer that means $ 100,000 less to enter, and do not take it, let's not talk about port costs. That proposal I have made, I know the number, it is 100 to 120 thousand dollars and still they do not come..."
BUT THERE WAS MUCH MORE!
In short, what was done in this excellent meeting of the Port Council, is the clearest PROOF OF WHAT THE COUNTRY still needs:
THE PROOF THAT THE COUNTRY MUST FOLLOW THE EXAMPLES OF CHILE AND MAKE A ROUND TABLE, WELL FORMED AND WELL ORGANIZED, as Mr. Olaf Merk tried to organize on April 10 and 11, 2017 at the S.S.P. and V.N.
See also: O.E.C.D./I.T.F Discusion paper:
The container-port of Buenos Aires in the Mega-Ship era.
More in my blog next Monday or Tuesday, Antonio
The Argentine crisis began on December 14, 2017 when a "Pension reform" was discussed in the Argentine Congress, which caused serious incidents inside and outside Congress.
From that moment the crisis deepened and at the end of August pre-occupying articles began to appear in the newspapers that indicated a serious aggravation.
One of the indications was an article of August 22nd with the title: "Tomorrow is the D day in the conflict of Puerto Nuevo". (The Port of Buenos Aires)
It was a threat from the port-labor-unions that soon they would begin with stoppages in all the ports of the country in protest against the unfulfilled promises of the A.G.P. to inform the unions about the progress of the MODERNIZATION PLAN of the PORT OF Buenos Aires.
But happily the Government realized that the CLAIM was FAIR and instead of A.G.P. the Ministry of Labor took the reins in the meeting and clarified important points that the A.G.P. had left in the “fog”.
From that day I have regularly written articles on this blog with information which I consider important.
I sincerely believe that those who really have an interest in what is done in questions of TRANSPORTATION POLICIES and TRANSPORTATION PLANS AND PORTS, should read them.
Yesterday I published the last article in this series, which I will continue until I receive an indication that this has reached the authorities or the CONGRESS.
So far I have only received a serious insult, which can also be seen in the article of October 1 in this blog.
It has the following 3 points:
1) ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TENDERING-PROCESS OF THE MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF B.A. (DECREE 870/2018, PUBLISHED FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH IN THE “OFFICIAL BULLETIN OF THE ARGENTINEAN REPUBLIC).
2) OBSERVATIONS TO THIS "PLAN", WITH SOME VERY IMPORTANT POINTS, BUT KNOWN BY FEW PERSONS. THEREFORE I PUBLISHED THEM IN "FACEBOOKS".
3) AN EMAIL TO MR. GONZALO MORTOLA WITH THE TEXT OF THE OBSERVATIONS AND HIS ANSWER.(INSTEAD OF GIVING AN EXPLANATION WHY A.G.P. DOES NOT ACCEPT A DEBATE, MR. MORTOLA ANSWERED WITH AN INSULT).
That is why I have sent letters to managers of the Port of Rotterdam, requesting their answers to some questions.
One of these questions is in the important entry of October 17TH (modified) with a letter to Mr. Carlos Zepeda, a Mexican national, who is a business analyst at the Port of Rotterdam.
This letter has to do with "some praise" of mister Zepeda for the PLAN FOR MODERNIZATION OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES, whilst on October 3rd O.E.C.D./ I.T.F. wrote an article: "The Container Port of B.A. in the Mega-Ship Era", objecting this "Plan".
O.E.C.D./ I.T.F. clearly warns that this "Plan" with a tender for 35 years, in fact is only a solution for a short period.
I also believe that the entities that have the responsibility to defend the interests of the “SHIPPERS”, (“Beneficial Cargo Owners”) must PARTICIPATE IN THIS, because this way they defend the rights of 44 million Argentines, who in the end have the same interests.
Round-table Conference Buenos Aires , Argentina , 10 - 11 April 2017.
This very important report was published in Argentina on October 3rd, 2018, and is attracting much interest.
I made a comment which you can find in the Spanish text of this blog
But it is good to remind a very long entry I made on April 15th, 2017:
Lessons to be learned from the “FAILED OECD “Round Table Conference”.
Now a year and a half later, with the country in a deep crisis, I wish to make a short recapitulation and pose the question: If this suggestion of OECD would have been followed correctly, would Argentina be in this CRISIS? Did the FAILED OECD “Round Table Conference” show SHORTCOMINGS IN PLANNING?
The idea was to follow the examples of Chilean “Round Table Conferences” held in 2013 for the Port-plans of Valparaiso and San Antonio.
OECD strictly followed the examples, bringing recognized experts to the meeting.But the Argentine part, which was arranged by the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways, only invited a few local employees of the terminal operators (concessionaires) and one engineer who had participated in the “think-tank” of PRO, the political party of President Macri.
This “think-tank” had made a Plan for the Port of B.A., which he presented in the R.T. Conference. NO ATTENTION WAS PAID AT ALL TO THIS PRESENTATION.
(In other parts of this blog you can find the difficult situation of the Undersecretary in the article: What lessons can be learned from the failed initiative of the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways to form his Consultative Council?
Without any doubt, these are clear indications that there were severe short-comings in PLANNING.
Lessons to be learned from the “FAILED OECD “Round Table Conference” open here.
which Mr. Mortola sent to Antonio Zuidwijk on September 29th and which was widely circulated, with the words that he Mr. Mortola, “Personally was very sorry that people like you (=Antonio Zuidwijk) have ever had interference in the Argentine port community, leaving this state of “decidía,(sic),(desidia=negligence),abandonment and systematic corruption, he sent me the following text, inviting me to publish this in this blog:
If Mr Mortola or anyone else alleges Mr Antonio Zuidwijk to be corrupt, this would (have to) backfire on those concerned. Especially for the slanderer himself.The reason for this is, that if indeed he was or is corrupt, Mr.Mortola did not need to fear mr. Zuidwijk´s on-going resistance to and rejection of Mr.Mortola´s development plans for the maritime industry of Argentina.
Captain Manfred Menzel
3rd Oct. 2018
Captain Menzel was in charge of the Buenos Aires port master plan of 1986. He was the inventor of the method for private sector engagements in ports and affiliated industries. Since 1980, he and his team have successfully implemented this in 112 ports and affiliated industries around the globe. Others have followed suit globally. He fails to understand why these proven technologies are not applied in Argentina. Probably Mr Mortola knows and may wish to let the maritime world know?
El sábado, 29 de septiembre de 2018 16:30:27 ART, Gonzalo Mórtola escribió: Personalmente lamento mucho que personas como usted hayan tenido alguna vez injerencia en la comunidad portuaria Argentina, dejando este estado de decidía, abandono y corrupción sistemático. También lamentó que personas como Ud. A la que solo le importa que su nombre esté estampado en alguna dársena se crea dueño de la razón. Por último, lamentó que no se haya dado cuenta que los tiempos cambiaron y que sus ideas vetustas, prehistóricas y en su gran mayoría falaces invadan mediante Spam las casillas de mail de muchos usuarios que seguramente por respeto o “lastima” no le respondan. Por favor, como ya se lo solicité en su momento, no me envíe mas mails ya que los considero malisiosos, atemporales y con proyectos e ideas que ya le hicieron mucho mal a la historia portuaria Argentina. Muchas gracias. Gonzalo Mórtola
When I learned on September 13th that R. Lopez Saubidet was going to make a “public conference” about THE PLAN FOR MODERNIZATION OF THE PORT OF B.A., I commenced my preparation to make the two allowed questions.
I immediately started writing some preliminary notes for several people representing the "stakeholders", the "participants who have interests in the efficient functioning” of the Port of Buenos Aires.
My idea was to lead the way why I intended to pose the question, if the sheer amount of the investment of their plan alone, was not sufficient reason to REQUEST an OPEN DEBATE.
And as a second question, what A.G.P. had done with the results of a “Working Group of the PRO FOUNDATION”, the so-called “think-tank” of presidential–candidate Mauricio Macri, that acted between 2011 and 2015.
I started a to send a series of notes to some of them, reminding them of interchanges of messages we had had with some of them in the last months of 2015, with the expectations of the new government.
I received very few confirmations of rerceipt I had asked for and only a few replies.
But those few replies were not what I had expected.
All had an attitude which is very common: they adviced me to stop trying to start a debate, because the authorities would not pay any attention.
Therefore I sent this last note to them:
This message does not have any political color,
I think that in ARGENTINA...
Within this scenario, I have been working since December 2015 to ask for public attention on transport issues and ports.
The title created the impression, that this presentation would have a summary related to the competition that other ports in the region will offer to the Port of Buenos Aires, and what reasons exist to affirm that this will be a competitive port.
In my opinion, this was not the case.
For instance: Mr. López Saubidet declared that the new port will be "intermodal", which would be one of its great advantages.
But I wonder how will this be possible, considering that rail access has an area of about 70 km around the port, where passenger transport has a very high priority. This old system only allows convoys of 600 meters, which is not efficient.
To the north of the port of Zarate the system allows convoys of 1,100 meters, which is much more productive. (A system with the highest global efficiency is that of U.S. ports where convoys are used with double-stacked containers and several kilometers long).
The next “obstacle”: How will the problem of the shanty-town (Villa 31) be solved?
There is only one track and for the clearance of that single track, several years were necessary.
And how will the rail system be like in the "new port"?
On the other hand, there was no mention of competing ports, which go from the foreign ports of Santos, Itajai / Itapoa, Rio Grande do Sul, Montevideo, to the ports of La Plata, the "South Dock", Zárate, Rosario and other river ports (which in the future may have more efficient supply-chains via Montevideo).
And, in this competition, there is something very important:
The Access channels to the Port of Buenos Aires and South Dock (Exolgan) are more than 220 km long, while within 2 or 3 years the Port of Montevideo will allow a 14 m draft, with a very short channel.
Dredging maintenance costs and costs of pilotage weigh heavily on the final account and have a lot to do with COMPETITIVENESS.
In general, there is very much “talk” in our country about the fact that ports should have deeper accesses. However, this is a matter of calculating costs and estimating the benefits.
There are many examples of ports in the world that chose not to make the huge expenses and let their ports fall to the category of "feeder-port". And they did well.
And on the other hand, there are many who made huge projects in which much money was wasted because after a few years the shipowners did not use their port anymore, although they had access.
This time I have made an entry in this blog, which is intended to be a place of analysis of matters related with TRANSPORT AND PORTS.
This time I feel obliged to write about the concept “GRIETA” or "CRACK", a word that is omnipresent in Argentina in all explanations about social facts of the Argentines.
In the mass media, family birthdays, messages with school friends, etc.
Most opinion makers use this gimmicky device to explain their “opinions” of all events that have to do with “politics”.
The word “crack” is always mentioned in “Mobilizations”, Strikes, Public Debates and cultural expressions.
After watching one of the six hours long televisión-programs during the afternoons of Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th of september, I decided to write a VERY RARE NOTE IN THIS BLOG:
I WISH TO INVITE THE INHABITANTS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY, to think about what is said and written about ARGENTINA and Argentines in the world.
Some of those things are very nice, others are going to receive many critics of my readers, but there are psychiatrists who recommend reading it as a very necessary "remedy" in these days of convulsion and chaos.
In the first place, that Argentina is a BEAUTIFUL country that has all the potential to be one of the best countries of the planet, which has the capacity to feed 5 times (or much more) of the number of people living in the country, with a climate that is good, with people of a high degree of intelligence.
This is so, if we remember that until the middle of the 50s it had an education system that served as an example of the 6 countries that began to form the European Union.
At that time it was predicted that within a decade, Argentina would be among the top 10 economies in the world.
Many Argentines who emigrated, reached positions of high categories in countries of the so-called first world.
Argentina is a country that has no racial or religious problems, which put many of those countries in danger.
Now the ugly part, which many will not like:
In the sixties, the Japanese had a joke, which said that some of them complained to God when he started creating the world, because he had given everything to Argentina and little to Japan.
To these "complainers" he replied, YES BUT I STILL DID NOT PUT PEOPLE.
Not long ago, in another country, Spain, there was talk of the EGO of Argentines, saying that an Argentine who wants to commit suicide, climbs to the top of his EGO and then throws himself down.
And another thing that also deserves attention, are jokes in Peru that told the poor that they should go to Argentina, because there they were immediately given homes in what they called "pueblos jovenes"(shanty towns).
Returning to one of the programs of Maxi Montenegro on Tuesday:
In several of the debates, with different political opinions, where everyone wants to talk and no one listens, Maxi intervened very correctly.
That's why I sent him a tweet, advising him to summarize the main parts of that program.
First he had to inform the viewers something of the "best" participants and then show his correct interventions in his program, always leaving the identifications on the screen, so that people can understand well what it was all about.
Then I watched another program, where the same thing happened, until there was a very short but excellent intervention by Mr. Hugo Perico Perez, a well-known ex-soccer player.
For this intervention I put an entry in my Facebook:
The country needs more people like Mr. Hugo Perico Perez, who participated with a clear CLAIM to THE JOURNALISTS OF ALL THOSE PROGRAMS, THAT ALL THOSE PROGRAMS MUST HAVE THE MAIN OBJECTIVE TO FIND WAYS TO CLOSE THE CRACK.
YOU MUST CLOSE THE CRACK IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THE COUNTRY. Antonio Zuidwijk
This immediately received this comment:
Juan Carlos Fusero Very good your comment Antonio.
And this gave me the courage to continue with the topic:
Now I ask all my contacts that they try to form an action on all possible Facebooks, to start something like was done in another occasion, which managed to organize a similar public claim in the Plaza de May not long ago.
It is unfortunate that there are still opportunists in ALL POLITICAL PARTIES, WHO TRY TO “BRING WATER TO THEIR OWN MILLS”.
THEY SHOULD STOP TRYING TO TAKE WATER ONLY TO THEIR OWN MILL.
ALL PARTIES ARE TO BLAME.
THEY SHOULD CLOSE THEIR MOUTHS FOR A WHILE AND FIRST SHOULD TRY TO FORM THE BASIS TO MAINTAIN GOVERNABILITY.
In this blog, www.antonioz.com.ar I have written a lot about this "Plan".
After the major changes which just have been announced by the aurhorities, some points should be brought to their attention.
In this note the main points have been reflected.
The epic of the M.V. "REPUBLICA ARGENTINA".
During the difficult voyage of the M.V."REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA", which is searching a safe port, it has encountered head-winds and storms.
And now it entered a HURRICANE, just at a time when the ship is in a sea full of rocks.
If the ship touches one of the rocks, it will sink.
What should a Captain do in this situation?Captain Macri who is in command of the ship "REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA" decided to request the assistance of a “PILOT”, to assist him in the navigation between the dangerous rocks.
Captain Macri has the full confidence only of a third of his crew, the complete distrust of another third party and the rest do not give their opinion, waiting for the results of how the captain is handling his ship in the hurricane.
It is those "undecided" who will decide with their vote if the Captain will continue in command on the next trip.
(In this real case they will decide if he will continue or not in 2019 as President, if he has the strength to continue the difficult task). Captain Macri decided to choose F.M.I as a pilot.But while the pilot was climbing to the bridge, he left the engines "FULL AHEAD", without a change course. This was a serious mistake.
The captain must lower the speed and must first put the pilot in touch with what is happening with his vessel, so that the pilot can give his advice.
It seems that he is doing this now.
Great changes are announced at this moment.
Now Captain Macri must do the SELF-CRITICS THAT HE ANNOUNCED BEFORE A "SPIRITUAL RETREAT" HE HAD PLANNED IN CHAPADMALAL, which was not fulfilled.
One area where he can probably find PROOF OF ERRORS committed in the 31 MONTHS OF HIS GOVERNMENT, is how the MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES has been addressed.
Following advice from his cabinet, President Macri appointed Mr. G. Mortola as his "navigation officer". (Trustee of the General Administration of Ports, S.A.).
But, according to many experts on the subject, Mr. Mortola DOES NOT HAVE THE CERTIFICATES THAT THIS IMPORTANT POSITION REQUIRES.
There are several articles in www.tradenews.com.ar, and in a blog of the FOUNDATION OUR SEA”" www.nuestromar.org” which deserve to be read carefully.
In some comments you can find the evidence that since January 2016 serious mistakes have been made. Many know this, but few have brought this forward to public knowledge.
If Captain Macri wants to act as a good CAPTAIN, he should request his PILOT NOW WHAT HIS OPINION IS of this PLAN.
He should ask the F.M.I. to make an analysis of what is written in the articles of THIS BLOG, where problems of the MODERNIZATION PLAN OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES are discussed.
It is a "PLAN" that has an estimated cost between US $ 1.000.000.000 and US$ 1.200.000.000.
In that PLAN much is spoken about the rights of 44 million inhabitants, to have a COMPETITIVE PORT.
But that seems absolutely IMPOSSIBLE with a PLAN OF MODERNIZATION WITH SUCH A TREMENDOUS COST, with the conditions that have been described.
The PLAN is of utmost importance for the COMPETITIVENESS OF THE COUNTRY and if errors are made again in the decisión, Argentina will continue to go around in the same mistakes that have been committed for 70 years, which are the fault of the present situation.The lack of open discussions of what our Logistics Chains require, are the underlying causes.
THIS IS A DIFFICULT TASK, WHICH NEEDS A PROPER STUDY. The country must form THE EXPERTS WHO IN THE FUTURE WILL DEFEND THE PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS OF THE COUNTRY, IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE "LOGISTIC PLANS", SOMETHING THAT NEVER HAS BEEN DONE SO FAR.
THE PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS OF THE COUNTRY WILL PAY THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD INSIST WITH THIS PLAN.These new experts must participate ACTIVELY IN THE VERY NECESSARY DIALOGUE TIGHT FROM HE BEGINNING, AS WAS PROPOSED BY O.E.C.D. AT THE START OF
THE NEW GOVERNMENT.
THE PRESENT PLAN IS TOTALLY INFLEXIBLE.
NOW ALL THE PORTS OF THE WORLD MAKE FLEXIBLE PLANS, taking in account that there are many “UNKWONS" of HOW MARITIME TRANSPORTATION WILL BE in the coming years, after the 9 years long crisis period ends.
THIS AFFECTS THE WHOLE WORLD AND IS OF EXTREME IMPORTANCE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES.
And among the "minefields" that make the situation of this country so difficult, there are the problems WITH LABOUR-UNIONS that the PLAN generates.
There is also much to analyze in that PLAN, which is worth applying to many other government plans.PRIORITIES MUST BE FIXED where and how the little MONEY that is left, will be spent.
To those who have an interest in the subject, it is advisable to read in this website the article: WHAT LESSONS CAN BE LEARNED OF THE FAILED INITIATIVE OF THE EX-SUBSECRETARY OF PORTS J.METZ of January 2016 TO FORM HIS CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL?
I hope this suggestion will be accepted, as it is very likely that it is applicable in many cases.
My note about the crisis which Argentina is suffering once more,might have been avoided if instead of the easy and "optimistic way", a difficult way wpould have been chosen.
This idea was published in the newspaper LA NACION, when the new government just had started. The titel I had chosen was:A POSSIBLE PLAN FOR THE PORT OF BUENOS AIRES, which the editor changed to INTERMODAL TRANSPORT. THIS ARTICLE CAN BE OPENED HERE.
For this I wish to make this entry in the english part of my blog: My note to an politician , mr. Julio Barbaro who voted for Presidente Macri and now is disppointed.
Dear mr.Barbaro, I believe that EVERYONE SHOULD COOPERATE SO THAT PRESIDENT MACRI WILL BE ABLE TO FULFILL HIS TERM IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY. This will be for the benefit of all the inhabitants.
But already the first conflicts begin and the authorities react with speeches that they are on the right track, that there will be no more corruption, that the bids for infrastructure projects are now transparent, etc. There is no doubt that they think that this way they will win the elections.
But as you said Mr. Barbaro, THERE IS A LOT TO BE CORRECTED. This is what I am trying to make clear with this message. One of the problems that arises is A SERIOUS CONFLICT that has been generated by the Modernization Plan of the Port of B.A., As can be found in this blog, this Plan was first announced in January 2016 A.G.P.´s trustee, Gonzalo Mórtola. In my opinion, this issue is not within the scope of A.G.P., but of the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways, which is the National Authority for the application of Law 24,093 on Port Activities.
There are many articles in this blog where I express my opinion that there are flaws in the transport policy and port-plans, which deserve attention.
In this announced meeting, where the authorities will meet with businessmen and the union that gathers the port workers, will define if this port conflict will start with serious strikes, which may stifle the economy, or if a finally agreement can be reached.
There are many EMPLOYERES of port-workers who know the problems, but I am very worried that NONE OF THEM REALIZES THAT EVERYONE WILL LOSE IF PRESIDENT MACRI IS NOT WARNED WHERE THESE REAL PROBLEMS ARE.
Many know them, but so far nobody has brought them to the attention of the authorities.
THERE IS A REAL DANGER THAT SOON THE CHAOS will start IN THIS COUNTRY. In this regard, I participated in an exchange of opinions among a group of people from the environment, where I expressed my concerns, with all the details. I did it because I hoped that one of them could send my concerns to the attention of President Macri.
In that exchange, one person, XXX, said: There are two models of confrontation in Argentina: Nr.1. A model based on "popular heat" that tries to perpetuate itself in power and when it has to leave or it is cast, it inevitably leaves a socio-economic bomb It is not easily disabled. When it loses power it makes a bloody opposition, Mr.XXX gave examples of Presidents Alfonsin and De la Rua.
Nr.2.-A more technocratic model based on government efficiency and the implementation of State institutions; Justice Service, BCRA, INDEC, a more ethical bidding system for public Works and others.
And in conclusion, Mr. XXX says: Either we copy Venezuela (neo Marxism) in the first case, or we follow a more normal country in the second type, like Chile, Canada etc.
To this statement of mr. XXX I answered: But if we want to approach a "Chile-like" country, we must follow Chile's examples and not simply make DECLAMATIONS. When President Macri summoned his officials to the Spiritual Retreat in Chapadmalal, he asked for AUTO-CRITICS in a VERY CLEAR way. No one can deny that he was NOT SATISFIED WITH THE RESULTS OF 2 YEARS OF HIS GOVERNMENT. But instead of AUTO-CRITICS, HE RECEIVED SELF-PRAISES. That is why Messrs. Negri and Monzó withdrew BEFORE THE FINAL ACT. Everyone knows that they were out of the "red circle" for some time. And the results came a few months later.
I asked Mr. XXX, who was reading in copy, if he did not agree that mistakes were made?
On my site www.antonioz.com.ar I have given proof of the errors that have been clearly committed in the Ministry of TRANSPORTATION, which enjoys a good image.
Especially the serious errors committed by A.G.P. with the Modernization Plan of the Port of Buenos Aires. I think that what happens with the port may damage the image of the President, for 2 reasons: In the first place, because the Unions threat with strikes. They are fed up with the unfulfilled promises that Mortola made since March 2016. And this could be used by Hugo Moyano, to can make serious strikes in all transportd, which could suffocate the country and make the country ungovernable, as happened in other crises. Secondly, because there are things that the voters of the Matanza and other large conglomerations are going to use, which usually decide who wins the election. THEY ARE GOING TO SHOUT THAT MACRI GOVERNES FOR THE RICH AND THAT PROOF OF THIS CAN BE FOUND IN THE POLICY TO CONSTRUCT HIGH BUILDINGS WITH A NICE VIEW TO THE RIVER, where now the best spaces are to operate with containers. The Unions are going to say that the the authorities are doing everything so that it will be impossible to keep the Port of Buenos Aires for containers. It is known fact that a plan of US $ 1000 to 1,500 million US dollars is IMPOSSIBLE.
That is why I hope that President Macri and Messrs. Marcos Peña and Dujovne,will analyze the events of the last days and that they wake up.
I hope that they realize that the extensive public discussions that are now taking place, show that they must change the course and stop talking that they are doing EVERYTHINGN WELL. I hope they really will start to correct errors. And in my blog there is strong evidence that serious mistakes have been made in the Plans of A.G.P. They have hired EXTERNAL CONSULTANTS, but refuse to publish the advices these have given. In www.tradenews there are many articles and comments that prove what I say. A.G.P. NOW MUST ACCEPT A DEBATE I suggested already 18 years ago.
In this way President Macri will be able to start recovering the voters he is losing.
You could find information in Spanish in http://www.antonioz.com.ar and look for a field: with the following text: The lessons that can be found in the unsuccessful attempt of the former Under-Secretary Jorge Metz to open his CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL.
This message should also reach THE OFFICIALS OF THE F.M.I., who must control how Argentina is spending the few dollars that still can be gathered. I would like to receive opinions about this entrance.
In a recent visit of Mr. Jan Hoffmann of UNCTAD to Buenos Aires, he was (briefly) interviewed by a well-known local journalist and made some important declarations.
His interview (in spanish) can be opened in this link: https://tradenews.com.ar/puerto-buenos-aires-consolidacion-navieras-jan-hoffmann).
In 2000 Mr. Hoffmann worked for E.C.L.A.C Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ,when the privatization of the ports of Chle and Peru was in full swing.
He then made a very important study: “The potential of “hub-ports” on the Pacific Coast of South America”, in which freight-rates were very important factors.
This study still is important.
In order to try to bring some of the important points forward, I made a first entry in the Spanish part of my blog, which I have freely translated in English, which can be opened here.( Read more).
I am still working on some additional points, which are briefly mentioned as “notes” in this English part.
This entry replaces a very confused one I made the day after I received a warning from my doctor that, for “health-reasons” I had to close this blog.
Those reasons are difficult to explain, but I hope that after reading this entry, these will be understood. They all have to do with the undeniable problems around the “Modernization Plan for the Port of Buenos Aires”, which A.G.P. started in December 2015. Moreover the doctor told me that I should finish my participation in the “Open Debate” in a blog which the Foundation Nuestro Mar, (=Our Sea), had opened in order to start an open discussion about those problems.
Some of these are very serious and still getting worse and if these are not solved correctly, they might have a negative effect on the economy of Argentina. (See www.nuestromar.org, where with some efforts you could find this in Spanish, in section “Puertos” under “Compilado” ).
Since January 2016, A.G.P. is working on the “tender-conditions” for a 30 year new concession of ONE container-terminal in the so-called New Port of Buenos Aires, after the 3 present concessions finish, which according to present conditions is in September 2019.
For the drafting of these very complicated tender-conditions , AGP has hired consultants (A.L.G.) that have charged already US$ 772.483,00 according to “Resolución AGP 129/2016” and another US$ 168.025,00 under “Res. AGP 169/2017. Right from the start, A.G.P. repeatedly promised the port-labor-unions, that they would make clear clauses to “safeguard the rights of the people which are now on the pay-role of the 3 present concessionaires”.
This was understood by the unions that all of them would have to be absorbed by the new concessionaire, which, according to union explanations, has been confirmed in writing by AGP. Although no information is available on the text of this agreement, official publications have confirmed that an agreement was made at which day of the “pay-roles” all persons would be identified.
During the full year 2017, the trustee of A.G.P., had several meetings with the labor-unions, in which he repeatedly promised to give them the exact text of this “tender-condition” in the “next meeting”, but this was never done and finally, the port-labor-unions began to threaten with “actions” in October 2017.
These have always had very serious negative consequences for the economy and many people started to request “clarity” and the government decided to take the principal part out of the meetings between A.G.P. and the unions and the Ministry of Labor intervened and started to handle this important problem.Although at the age of 86, I am totally retired and have no direct interest at all in any of these matters, the way these problems were handled made me SERIOUSLY UPSET and I suffered “strokes of high blood-pressure”.
I felt totally frustrated that my ideas, which were accepted before December 2015 in the so called think-tank “PENSAR” (=think in Spanish), in which I actively participated, were never accepted in any contact with authorities after January 2016.It was this frustration which finally caused my high blood-pressure.
FOUNDATION NUESTROMAR ("OUR SEA"), with a long history in Argentina, has put its blog, www.nuestromar.org at the disposal of professionals, who wish to participate in an open debate about the Modernization Plan for the Port of Buenos Aires.
Because I always have claimed that somebody should start such a debate, I sent my application immediately, which was accepted. On Saturday,July 15th, www.nuestromar.org published this with the title: The first contribution to the debate for the Modernization of the Port of Buenos Aires.
This was followed already on Monday July 17th by a contribution of Mr. Rodolfo Rocca, General Manager of the Port Authority of La Plata.
PORTSTRATEGY has published several important articles that refer to the Modernization Plan for the Port of Buenos Aires. On JULY 8th I sent a new proposal,The future roles of ports of the Atlantic- and Pacific-coasts in both hemispheres. But the "program was fully booked till October", when this text probably would have lost its goal.
But because PORTSTRATEGY admitted that this article has its merrits, I have decided to put it in this blog.
Why does Argentina need INTERMODAL TRANSPORT POLICIES? Read more.
Possibly some readers would like to have an idea of what is written in the Spanish texts of my blog. It starts with this text:
Books are not written to be read in 15 minutes and neither is this blog.
And to give an example: everyone will understand that you cannot describe in a few minutes, the serious problems that presently exist for ships that are loaded in Rosario, to reach deeper water south of Montevideo. Now these vessels suffer great and costly delays.
And neither can one clarify in a few minutes, that those extra-costs will be for account of our PRODUCERS and that finally this problem affects the competitiveness of the whole country.
But there are really people who are in a "hurry" and for them I have prepared two short "presentations" to start this blog:
The first one is the "background" of this blog: Open here.
Within a logical sequence, these two important things are elsewhere in this blog.
Do you want to start well with the reading of this site, to understand the ABUNDANT lessons that have existed since 1970 and that we STILL HAVE NOT LEARNED? Then you must pay attention to a PPT written for “Intermodal Transportation classes” in 2010 in an ITBA / FUNDACIÓN LIBERTAD DE ROSARIO program, based on the best history of the CONTAINER.
It is the story of Arthur Donavan and Joseph Bonney's 2006: THE BOX THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, and it has been completed with some texts from 3 books of the Department of Transportartion D.O.T., with the title INTERMODAL FREIGHT-TRANSPORTATION. (Spanish text: open here).
As a second step, you have to read the presentation made in a M.B.A in the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) on November 12, 2015: Foreign Trade and Competitiveness, also with small adjustments. (Spanish text: open here).
As a third step I have adapted the third part of the M.B.A. of the UBA of November 12, 2015, which presented in a class of Professor Mr. Eduardo Parodi, currently an official in the Secretariat of Planning of the Ministry of Transportation: (Spanish text: open here).
Invited by Carmen Polo, Sub-secretary of “Planning” in the MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT and by Mr. Emilio Alzaga, I made the following presentation in March 2016:
HOW TO DEVELOP A PORT POLICY: (Spanish text: open here).
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE “CITY OF BUENOS AIRES” WITH ITS “NEW PORT in 2019”. A pending debate. (Spanish text: open here)
On April 13th Cronista/Transport & Cargo published this article, which was reproduced in www.nuestromar.org: The port of Buenos Aires is planned with a concession of 50 years and US$ 1 billion investment.
To this article I made 3 comments in Nuestromar, which I will repeat in an extended form in this website, as a continuation of "Lessons that can be extracted from the failed Advisory Council of the Sub-Secretariat of Ports and Waterways".All CITIZENS of the country have the RIGHT that the Port of Buenos Aires be EFFICIENT, COMPETITIVE and INSERTED IN THE PLANS TO REDUCE POVERTY. The right to be "efficient and competitive" has been taken from the example in a similar case of 2014 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was universally accepted.
And I believe that all well-meaning people of the country will agree that it must be inserted in the fight against poverty AND THAT we should not spend US$ 1 billion of state investments in a Plan that offers no guarantees of success.
A port always has negative effects for a city and its surroundings.
Therefore, the CITIZENS of the C.A.B.A. and Greater Buenos Aires, moreover have the RIGHT TO DEMAND PROOF that in the planning of this "efficient and competitive" port, those solutions have been sought that will cause the least possible inconvenience to them. And for this, studies must be made of the cargo flows which are generated by the port and to DECREASE and not to INCREASE the multiple cases that exist now, where empty trucks or circuits where trucks with the same cargo, cross the city twice.
That's the reason why I made this first comment in www.nuestromar.org:
Who will defend the rights of 40 million Argentines to have an EFFICIENT AND COMPETITIVE Port ? And moreover the right of the citizens of B.A. that this port will cause the least possible inconvenience, which has a port always has for a city?
The other question I posed, was this: Will it be taken into account in the "light-motiv" (from the "leit-motiv" in German, "leading" motive) of the necessary ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES, that in a country with 30%, PRIORITIES OF INVESTMENTS MUST BE MADE?
And last but not least: Will bad decisions that already have been taken, be corrected?
Articles in PORTSTRATEGY related with “Lessons that can be learned from the failed Consejo Consultivo (advisory council) of the Under-secretariat of Ports and Waterways”.
Article Portstrategy May 2nd 2017by Mr. Olaf Merk. Read more.
My letter of May 12th to Mr.Olaf Merk and his answer. Read more.
Argentina’s Rising Grains Production Strands Vessels in River Traffic February 16, 2017 by Reuters, Author at gCaptain. See more.
This important article deserved several comments, which I asent in a letter to Mr. Guillermo Wade of CAPYM, (Cámara de Actividades Portuarias y Marítimas/ Chamber of Maritime Agencies of Rosario). See more.
At the invitation of the Bar of Lawyers of Lomas de Zamora / University of Lomas de Zamora, I made a presentation on May 10th, 2016 on the impact that "the Laws of Transportation have had on the Competitiveness" of different countries.
An important part of this presentation is based on the study that was made by proffessors from the Universities of Nottingham and Lund. In 2013 they presented the results of their studies, which demonstrated the great benefits Intermodal Transport has had on the enormous growth of "World Trade" in the last decades.
One of the main objectives was to determine which of the two pillars of this growth has contributed more: Trade Facilitation, which eliminated many barriers to trade or Intermodal Transport, which drastically has reduced transport costs.
The 3 findings of these studies left no doubt:
The Universities did not intend to elaborate on the reasons why the central countries have benefitted most and simply informed that the most striking results were found in countries with ports with good rail connections and therefore the greatest benefits were found in "North-North traffics" (between core countries) and few in "North-South" or "South -South traffic".
Many think it is a matter of "infrastructure", but as you can read in other studies mentioned in this presentation, the core-countries have carefully studied all factors that have to do with "costs" to move a load or a person from one point to another, which are much more than the mere costs charged by carriers.
In this presentation, the emphasis is on the studies that were made about the relation between Laws of Transportation and Competitiveness and about the studies that showed the best positive results.
Observations, suggestions and constructive criticisms are welcome.