Inland waterway transportation has always been a hot topic when it comes to discuss improvement in the logistics system in South America, especially in Brazil.

According to the website World Wide Inland Navigation Network, the Brazil Inland waterways have high potential, but they are currently underused (60000 km of inland waterways and only 13000 km used). Inland waterway transport is today limited mainly to agricultural and mineral goods. Transport planning in Brazil is guided by the National Plan for Logistics and Transport (PNLT). The main objective of this plan is to provide the country with more balanced transport matrix by 2025.

In an interview with the Herald published on Monday Sep 30, 2013, Ricardo Javier Álvarez, a lawyer specialized in Navigation Law, Ports and Infrastructure and Vice-President of the Argentine branch of the Ibero-American Institute of Maritime Law (IIDM), draws a general map of these routes.

The new waterway projects in South America entail a number of benefits and opportunities.

“With the exception of Argentina, in the region everything is yet be done,‘ he added, as an advance of his presentation at the next IIDM Congress in Puerto Rico from October 29 to November 3, 2013, on Operations and Legal Regimes in International River Basins organized together with the Maritime Law Association (MLA) of the United States.

The numbers speak for themselves.

The Mississippi waterway moved approximately 500 million tons of goods in 2011, that of the Rhine-Danube about 300 million in that year, so that of the Paraguay-Paraná — currently in the range of 15-16 million tons in its barge navigation section — can grow significantly in the future, Álvarez says.

Read the full interview on Buenos Aires Herald / South America Rediscovers Waterways