Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2012.
The port of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, has become a significant transshipment hub and a load center taking advantage of its proximity to the Panama Canal and the resource trade of the Colombian market. This confers a ready pool of empty containers available for commodity exports. One unlikely commodity that has seen substantial growth is high-grade coal used for metallurgical processes (coke). This coal is exported by Inter-American Coal, a Colombian supplier of high-grade coal that roughly exports 2 million tons per year to global markets. The main advantages of bagged coal are easier transloading into containers using forklifts as well as less damage to the container itself.