Gulf-Colombia Service Debuts

Gulf-Colombia Service Debuts

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

Caytrans Project Services (Caribbean) Ltd. has started an all-Colombia service that sails regularly from the ports of Houston and Mobile, Ala., and on inducement from other Gulf ports.

Last month, the vessel operator dedicated its chartered multipurpose carrier, the 2,650-deadweight-ton Anne Boye, to the new service that sails every 10 to 14 days from Houston along with the 4,183-deadweight-ton Eastern Navigator, also chartered by Caytrans.

For the past decade, Caytrans has operated a tramp multipurpose service within the Caribbean and South America. Caytrans is a vessel operating company that is managed by Dan-Gulf Shipping, a New Orleans-based ship broker and steamship agency.

Port rotation on the new, seven-day Colombian service, which will carry bulk, breakbulk, container and project cargo, is: Houston; Mobile, Ala.; and Santa Marta and Barranquilla, with stops on inducement at Cartagena, Colombia.

Dan-Gulf is the general manager for Caytrans, while Eastern Shipping Agencies in Houston handles sales. Husbandry in Houston is through Prime Maritime Agency.

Niels Busse, president of Dan-Gulf Shipping, said the service caters to the southbound flow of new and used mining equipment being purchased by export coal mining companies in Colombia.

"We saw there was great demand in this market niche for mining equipment," Busse said.

The northbound voyage often stops at Altamira, Mexico, to drop off coke coal, and then proceeds to the Port of Houston to unload pipe from Barranquilla.

Busse said the service has started off strong, with the first two sailings completely full.

"There is potential here to expand into Venezuela," he said. "We also can look at Costa Rica and Guatemala. We are looking at alternatives and adding tonnage as we go along."

When Dan-Gulf opened for business in 1993, the company operated a multipurpose service between the Gulf, Caribbean and South America. In the late 1990s, Dan-Gulf expanded with a trans-Atlantic breakbulk service. In 2001, Caytrans launched a monthly tramp liner service between Southeast Asia, the West Coast and the Gulf.

In recent years, Dan-Gulf has been hauling bulk grain and fertilizer from Gulf ports such as Lake Charles, La., to Cuba. The carrier still has one ship engaged in that service, according to Busse.

"Dan-Gulf has five to six ships chartered and makes 50 to 60 voyages a year," Busse said.