Wilson Sons reports increase in port maneuvers of ships carrying pulp, especially to China
Despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the pulp industry was not significantly affected, which promoted production activities in Brazil — the world’s leading exporter and one of the largest global producers, second only to the United States. With the pulp industry on the rise, Wilson Sons, the largest integrated operator of port and maritime logistics in Brazil, has also been growing exponentially in this sector.
In 2022, new pulp clients and the good performance of other long-term clients have led the company to lead the way in harbour towage for Brazilian pulp exporting ships, resulting in an above-market growth. Wilson Sons operates in the ports of Santos (SP), Barra do Riacho (ES), Rio Grande (RS) and Itaqui (MA).
After China, which buys 40% of the pulp exported by Brazil, is the U.S., with 15%. In 2020 and 2021, Brazil exported 17 million tons of pulp and paper, with China as the main destination. This year, this figure should reach 20 million and, in 2023, even more positive results are expected.
With a large fleet of tugboats, the company has been meeting this increasing demand, especially in Santos, which receives most of the pulp to be exported. Exports from the ports of Santos and Barra do Riacho, in Vitória, account for nearly 70% of the total volume of pulp exported per year. The Midwest is where most of the pulp is produced. Mato Grosso do Sul is the leading producer and sends out pulp cargo through these ports.
Over the past two years, the ports of São Paulo and Espírito Santo accounted for 30% and 35%, respectively. In 2022, however, the volume exported through Santos has increased considerably. The port of Santos alone was responsible for more than 40% of the total volume of pulp exported in Brazil in the first half of the year. This growth is related to increasing investments made in the cargo distribution infrastructure. Two of the main pulp producers own export terminals at the port.
The Port of Itaqui has also been growing in this sector, especially with the recent start-up of Berth 99, built to expand the pulp export capacity in the region. This port has a powerful modern Wilson Sons fleet dedicated to the operations of the ports of São Luís — including the new tugboat WS Centaurus, the most powerful to operate in Brazil, which serves this region.
Source: Wilson Sons