Alog advocates a “balanced and gradual” approach towards the opening of maritime cabotage in Chile

Alog advocates a “balanced and gradual” approach towards the opening of maritime cabotage in Chile
Alog advocates a “balanced and gradual” approach towards the opening of maritime cabotage in Chile

By Luis Alonso


The Logistics Association of Chile AG (Alog) is advocating for a “balanced and gradual” approach that allows setting the course towards opening of maritime cabotagerecognizing potential benefits for the logistics industry and for the country’s own economy.

The above was expressed by the Alog owner, Neil Taylor Montgomerywithin the framework of his intervention before the Transport and Telecommunications Commission of the Senate. In the instance, the debate continued regarding the project that seeks to modify the laws of Promotion of the Merchant Navy and of Navigation.

In this context, the CEO of Pacific Anchor Line said that “Alog Chile advocates a balanced and gradual approach towards the opening of maritime cabotage in Chile. “We recognize the potential benefits this can bring to the logistics industry and the economy as a whole, but we are also aware of the associated challenges and risks.”

“By working collaboratively with all stakeholders and maintaining a focused approach on safety, efficiency and sustainability, we firmly believe that the liberalization of cabotage will have a positive and significant impact on the domestic logistics industry,” he added.

The president of the union entity also identified the existence of challenges associated with the opening of cabotage, which would be related to unfair competition, repercussions of different types on the Chilean Merchant Navy and a concern about national security.

In relation to the first, Taylor commented that “one of the main challenges we face as an industry is unfair competition from foreign shipping companies. This competition can manifest itself through the use of flags of convenience or subsidized practices that distort the market. To guarantee a level playing field, it is essential that all national and foreign companies comply with the same labor, environmental and tax regulations.”

Regarding the Chilean Merchant Navy, the head of Alog pointed out that “the protection of the development of our Merchant Navy is vital to safeguard the knowledge and experience accumulated in our country. Prioritizing the Chilean crew not only strengthens our maritime identity, but also protects the jobs of 100 thousand workers and their families. Furthermore, the participation of the Merchant Navy in national security is fundamental, since it provides essential support in naval capabilities and in the protection of our waters.”

In line with the above, the head of the Association stressed that “national security is a legitimate concern that must be addressed in any discussion on maritime cabotage. The reservation for cabotage contributes to maintaining effective control over who operates in our waters, thus reducing the risk of illicit activities such as drug trafficking. Furthermore, by keeping cabotage under national regulation, we can guarantee greater control over environmental safety and prevent possible ecological disasters.”

In this way, and in consideration of the aforementioned safeguards, Alog expressed itself in favor of the opening of cabotage, since “we recognize the strategic value of maritime cabotage for the Chilean logistics industry. The opening of cabotage for foreign trade containers has the potential to boost the development of ports, port cities and national and international markets by allowing greater access to competitive rates and international frequencies. “We can improve efficiency and reduce costs for end consumers, thus benefiting the economy as a whole,” Taylor said.

“However, we have strong challenges. While we recognize the potential benefits of opening cabotage, we must also address the challenges that come with it. It is crucial to carry out comprehensive impact studies and carefully evaluate the short- and long-term implications of any regulatory changes. “We propose a phased approach that considers the needs of all stakeholders and encourages informed debate on the best approaches to promote sustainable growth of the logistics industry,” he concluded.

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