Cargo ferry between Costa Rica, El Salvador to start in July
A new cargo ferry service with the capacity to transport up to 100 semitrailers each trip between Costa Rica and El Salvador will launch operations in July, Public Works and Transport (MOPT) Vice Minister Sebastián Urbina said Thursday.
The ferry will travel three times a week each way between the Puntarenas port of Caldera and La Unión port in El Salvador, both on the Pacific coast.
MOPT estimates a one-way trip will take about 16 hours, compared to the current driving time of up to five days by road.
“Add to that the countless hours truck drivers must spend at customs at every border,” Urbina said.
The vice minister said the new ferry route would boost competitiveness in the region. For Costa Rica it will help reduce costs, decongest traffic at the Peñas Blancas border with Nicaragua and considerably reduce time spent complying with red tape.
Spanish shipping company Naviera El Odiel will manage the ferry route, with departures from El Salvador on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from Costa Rica on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Odiel President Javier Villafante said the new ferry would benefit commerce across Central America. The company initially expects to move 60 semis on every one-way trip and reach 100 within the first six months of operation.
The reduction in the number of trucks circulating across the country will also have a positive effect on the environment and on the conditions of the national roadway system.
“It also will improve safety for drivers who face constant dangers while passing through many insecure areas of the region,” Urbina said.
The vice minister last year said a passenger ferry is planned for the project’s second phase, although a timetable for that is still under evaluation.
You may be interested
U.S. donates $16,000 to help Costa Rica improve environmental reportingThe Tico Times - January 25, 2020
A donation from the U.S. Department of the Interior will help Costa Rica's Environment Ministry (MINAE) receive and track environmental…
In Davos, tourism industry promises less plastic and more sustainabilityPol Costa / AFP and The Tico Times - January 24, 2020
Faced with the tons of disposable plastic used by hotels every year, the CO2 emitted by airplanes or the overcrowding…
Meet Costa Rica’s newest NASA figure: Luis Diego Fonseca FloresBruce Callow - January 24, 2020
Costa Rica may be small, but its people are achieving great things. In this story, contributor Bruce Callow shares an…