A Shift in Operations from Guayaquil to Posorja in Ecuadorian banana exports


In Ecuador, a significant shift in the banana export industry has occurred. The Danish company, Maersk, has moved its operations from Puerto Maritimo of Guayaquil, operated by Contecon, to the port of Posorja, managed by DP World. This change, announced in December of the previous year and made official on January 4 with the arrival of the vessel MSK Evora, has already impacted port statistics. The Posorja terminal reported a significant increase in banana exports. In January 2023, the terminal shipped 4,011,627 boxes of bananas. By January 2024, this figure had risen to 8,735,977 boxes, marking an increase of 117.77%, according to the latest report from the Association of Marketing and Export of Bananas of Ecuador (Acorbanec). With the arrival of Maersk, DP World’s Port in Posorja increased its share of Ecuador’s banana cargo from 10.87% in January 2023 to 26.95% in January 2024. In contrast, Puerto Maritimo of Guayaquil saw a 35.54% decrease in the capture of fruit for international markets, dropping from 58.18% to 50.04%.

While much of the increase at the Posorja terminal is due to Maersk’s arrival, Acorbanec’s executive director, Richard Salazar, notes that the terminal is also receiving cargo previously exported from Puerto Bolivar in the province of El Oro. This terminal registered a 3.51% decrease in banana cargo movement in January. Maersk’s operational change implies strengthening safety standards in ports. One factor driving the migration of cargo is the need for scanners at the Puerto Bolivar terminal. Some of the cargo from Machala is moving to Posorja due to this issue. However, the main driver remains Maersk’s move.

The shift in operations has led to additional transportation costs for the export sector. These costs, which Salazar estimates at an additional $130 per container or an extra $0.12 per exported box, have been negotiated between exporters and shipping companies.