Located at Montevideo Bay on River Plate (Rio de La Plata), the port facility is on the main cargo transport route in the Mercosur, as an axis interconnecting South American Region, placed amid a hinterland with almost 200,000,000 inhabitants who have one of the highest per-capita income in Latin America. Historically, the Port of Montevideo has been the driving force for the development of Uruguayan economy, thanks to its natural conditions which allows navigation of large ships.
Except for the hydrocarbon terminal located to the north of the bay, the current port facilities are located on the east coast of the Bay of Montevideo. There are, however, projects for new developments to be located on the north and west sides.
To enable the arrival and docking of large vessels, the National Ports Administration (ANP) develops a continuous program of dredging works for the access channel, the outer harbour and all the port docks. ANP has for this purpose a fleet of dredges and auxiliary vessels, duly maintained and periodically updated, with which it carries out a large part of the necessary dredging works, completing the dredging works with the hiring of specialized international companies.
Uruguay has an export-oriented economy. The country is one of the largest exporters of beef (21 percent of total exports). Other exports include: vegetables (16 percent of total exports), dairy products (9 percent), chemicals (6.3 percent) and rice (6 percent). Main export partners are: Brazil (20 percent of total exports), Argentina (8 percent) and China (7 percent). Others include: Venezuela, Germany and United States.
- Construction of the Multipurpose Dock C and Dredging of the Maneuvering Area in the Port of Montevideo.
- Land reclamation and construction of the North Access.
- New terminal of forestry products and solid grain.
- New Fishing Terminal - Puerto Capurro and esplanade of trucks.
- New logistics complex: Port PUNTAS DE SAYAGO:
The National Port Administration (ANP) set a goal for the commercial and urbanistic development of the space located in the area known as Punta Sayago which, with banks on the Rio de la Plata, is about 5.5 nautical miles (approximately 10 km) away from the access channel to the port of Montevideo, about 5 km away from the intersection between National Route 1 and Tomkinson Road, about 8 km from the collector of National Routes 1 and 5, and about 15 km away from the “Peñarol node”, which belongs to the national railway network.
Puntas de Sayago is the most important medium-term expansion initiative of the agency, providing new benefits such as: free space in the port area, relief from road traffic congestion, efficient handling of cargo and strengthening the relationship Port-City. In this large area to the west of the city, the installation of logistics companies and development of a new distribution centre that will facilitate entry and exit of regional or international goods through Uruguay, is expected, consolidating the Port of Montevideo as a Hub Port. The Punta Sayago Logistics Pole is ideal to complement the land area of the Port of Montevideo. The goal is to achieve the expansion of the port infrastructure capacity, to connect activities and services related to the port activity and to improve the logistic efficiency of the National and Regional Port System.
The access channel of the port has a length of 42 km and had a draft of 11.0 m till it was dredged further to 12.60 meters in 2016. Port Authority guarantees 11 m. draft any given time. The width of the mouth of the port between the ends of the jetties is 320 m. An arm of the canal leads to the North, where hydrocarbon terminal is located.
The Breakwater West-1,300 meters and the Breakwater East-900 meters protect the port from Pampero and S & SE winds, respectively. This protection is reinforced by a waist dam located just in front of the operational docks. The aquatic surface of the port is divided into three docks (Fluvial Basin, Basin I and Basin II). Yet, Southern winds are the main natural cause of disruption in the port area, yet again port closure does not happen more than a couple of time a year for periods of hours. The land surface is approximately 110 hectares, mostly dedicated to operations. There are projects in progress to continue expanding it. The total length of docks is more than 4,500 meters in the short term.
Public docks are quite limited with the space as significant part of container operation is continuing here. As this is not a concession, it lacks the infrastructure investment that Terminal Cuenca del Plata and Montevideo Grain Terminal received. Both have plenty room for new business as they are utilized way below their annual static capacity levels.
Port is just located in front of the old city centre so there is no room for inland growth but only seawards and Northwards growth is a possibility.
Feeder, barge and truck connection is possible, railway connection is there but not operational for the time being which is an ongoing logistics investment project. It is expected to be finalized in 2022 and afterwards Montevideo Port will become more competitive for volumes coming to/from the hinterland.
Port website: http://www.anp.com.uy/inicio/
Key port information may also be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com
Port Location and Contact
Province or District
Nearest Town or City
with Distance from Port
Montevideo (0 km)
Port's Complete Name
Puerto de Montevideo (Port of Montevideo)
Managing Company or Port Authority
ANP (Administracion Nacional de Puertos)
Management Contact Person
Marine Eng. Gerardo García
Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures
Carrasco International Airport
Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, Air France, KLM, American Airlines, Avianca, Azul, Copa Airlines, GOL, Iberia, LATAM
Description and Contacts of Key Companies
Specialized Container Terminal
Katoen Natie Terminal Cuenca del Plata (Concession 2001-2031): Belgian Katoen Natie (Majority shareholder) & ANP (Port Authority) J.V. In 2017 %58 market share of containerized volumes. 7 STS Gantry Cranes, 1,200,000 TEUs annual terminal capacity, 2018 EOY expectation 420,000 TEUs. Main Carriers: Maersk, Hamburg Sud, CMA-CGM. Terminal Operations Software: Microsoft Navision ERP
Public Berths under management of ANP
Montecon Stevedoring Company providing services. for multi-purpose container terminal functionality (including handling of container vessels). In 2017, %42 market share of containerized volumes. Montecon is not the only stevedoring company but it is the main one serving from public berths. Main shipping lines: MSC, Hapag-Lloyd. Montecon operates 8 Mobile Harbour Cranes in total. Terminal Operations Software: NAVIS.
TGM Montevideo Grain Terminal (Terminal de Graneles Montevideo)
Started operation in 2015, concession till 2035, owned and operated by Christophersen S.A. (Uruguayan) 51% and Hidrovias do Brazil (Brazilian) 49% J.V. 120.000 tons dynamic warehousing capacity, 2,000,000 tons annual static capacity, 2018 will end with approximately 500.000 tons grain handling which is will be their record performance in their short history. Loading Rate: 1200 TPH. Additional services: Drying, crushing, pre-cleaning, quality assessment. Main grain types: soy, rice (80,000 tons in 2018) corn (130,000 tons in 2018), wheat. Corn arrives with barges from Rosario then loaded on Panamax vessels. Biggest vessel operation so far: 60,000 tons loaded on Panamax. Whole terminal operation %90 automatized. Can process 350 trucks per day, truck in/out:20 minutes.
Below mentioned MT is not covering containerized volumes, solely bulk and break-bulk volumes.
March and October rainiest month, slightly above 100 mm per m2
Major Export & Import Campaigns
Heavier volumes June to September and November (2017 figures)
Handling Figures for 2017
Container Traffic (TEUs)
Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017
Break bulk (MT)
Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges
For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link:
ANP (Port Authority) Tariff: http://www.anp.com.uy/inicio/institucional/cifras/montevideo/tarifas
Terminal Cuenca Del Plata Tariff: http://www.terminaltcp.com.uy/servicios-de-interes/tarifas-y-condiciones/tarifas-y-condiciones-para-shippers-receivers/
Montecon Stevedoring Company Tariff: https://www.montecon.com.uy/es/articles/tarifario
TGM Grain Terminal needs to be contacted directly to receive information regarding their service tariff.
Type of Berth
Maximum Draft (m)
10,5-12 (12 Meter is for DOCK C only, one position)
AGP Public Berths (Container vessels being operated here as well) Main stevedoring company: Montecon.
10,5-14 (350 meters berth with 14 meters draft)
Terminal Cuenca Del Plata
TGM (Terminal Graneles Montevideo)
General Cargo Handling Berths
Imports - Bagged Cargo
Dock Escala (Terminal Cuenca del Plata) Berths 1-9 and Dock C (Public Berths)
Exports - Bagged Cargo
Dock Escala (Terminal Cuenca del Plata) Berths 1-9 and Dock C (Public Berths)
Imports and Exports - RoRo
Berth info not available for the time being but RoRo operation is being done in Montevideo port.
Port Handling Equipment
The port equipment is managed by Terminal Cuenca Del Plata and TGM (Terminal Graneles Montevideo), which are terminal operators with concessions. Other stevedoring companies such as Montecon are stevedoring companies operating their own equipment in the public docks.
Total Quantity and Capacity Available
Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage
7 (4 Super Post Panamax + 3 Post Panamax)
Terminal Cuenca Del Plata
8 mobile cranes
RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)
Boenal is the Ro-Ro port agent that operates tugmaster.
3 (with moving arms with suction units) ) Each with 400 TPH loading rate for a sum of 1200 TPH loading rate.
TGM (Terminal Graneles Montevideo)
37 (TCP 34, MONTECON 3)
Rubber Tyre Gantries for container yard.
Please see below link for Montevideo Port photos and supporting documents: Uruguay Ports - Montevideo.
Terminal Cuenca Del Plata is the only fully dedicated container terminal with STS gantry cranes yet, Montecon stevedoring company is handling head to head volumes with Terminal Cuenca Del Plata operating from public berths with mobile cranes.
Container Facilities Available
1 Container Terminal with 2 berthing positions and public piers with 8 berthing positions, 2121 meters quay with drafts varying in between 10,5-14 meters.
Container Freight Station (CFS)
12,000 m2 (TCP 8,000 m2 - warehousing, packaging/repackaging, marking/re-marking, classification, grouping/re-grouping, consolidation, handling, splitting, MONTECON – 4,000 m2)
Refrigerated Container Stations
Temp. controlled warehouse operator in public berths is FRIOPUERTO. 27,000M3, 9000 MT capacity with temperature controlled in between -30C/+15C
Other Capacity Details
Daily Take Off Capacity
Number of Reefer Stations
3132 (TCP 2,532 plugs / MONTECON 600 plugs)
Emergency Take-off Capacity
Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
Customs Authority: Direccion Nacional de Aduanas. All customs declarations are done electronically over LUCIA system.
Uruguay is member of MERCOSUR. Mercosur was created in 1991 when Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asuncion, an accord calling for the “free movement of goods, services, and factors of production between countries.” The four countries agreed to eliminate customs duties, implement a common external tariff (CET) of 35 percent on certain imports from outside the bloc, and adopt a common trade policy toward outside countries and blocs. The charter members hoped to form a common market like European Union, and even considered introducing a common currency.
Montevideo is a free port. The characteristics of this unique regime in the South American Atlantic coast have led to the implementation of the Regional Distribution Centers located on the very gateway to and from the region. By the Ports Act and its regulations Uruguay has been scaled as a highly efficient alternative port. Reference to free ports includes references to port bonded spaces, offering special fiscal and customs regimes, including the free circulation of goods, not requiring any authorizations or formal procedures.
|Free circulation of goods||No formal authorization or formal procedure required. The mobility inside the port is documented through a Simplified Electronic Message to the National Customs Directorate. Length of goods storage in the port warehouses has no limitations.|
|Length of storage of goods||The new regulation incorporated through the C.A.R.O.U. establishes that goods that enters the ports may remain for a maximum of 5 years.|
|Free destination of goods||As no previous permits or claims are required to move the goods, their destinations may be changed freely.|
|Tax-free||All the merchandise and goods entering the national territory from abroad are free from any customs duties, fees and taxes applicable to imports or upon entry.|
When the goods are introduced into the national customs territory, they are considered as imports, and only in those cases they are subject to the appropriate taxes.
|VAT||Circulation of goods and delivery of services within the premises are exempted from Value Added Tax.|
Net Worth Tax
|The goods deposited under the Free Port scheme are not comprised in the taxable basis for Net Worth Tax.|
|Income Tax||The taxes derived from profit activities conducted by natural or legal persons from abroad, with foreign goods that are moved in transit through the national customs territory, as well as in port warehouses, and not destined to that territory, will be exempted from any Income Tax.|
ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED AND DIFFERENT WAYS OF WAREHOUSES AT FREE PORTS
Since the adoption of the Uruguayan New Customs Code (C.A.R.O.U.), warehouses are not limited to those numbered by the article 2 of the Law 16.246 and its Regulatory Decrees. The same have been expanded, covering a larger range of possibilities, all in accordance with the provisions of the C.A.R.O.U.
- STORAGE WAREHOUSE: The goods may only undergo operations aimed to: ensure the recognition, preservation, lot splitting or volume fractioning, and any other operation that does not alter their value or change their nature or features.
- COMMERCIAL WAREHOUSE: The goods may undergo operations aimed to: facilitate their trading, increase their value or alter their nature or status.
- OVERHAUL AND MAINTENANCE WAREHOUSE: Used for goods that may be subject to repair and maintenance services, not modifying their nature.
- TEMPORARY STORAGE WAREHOUSE FOR EXHIBITIONS AND SIMILAR ACTIVITIES: storage of foreign goods entered for trade shows, demos, fairs or similar activities, following the authorization of the National Customs Directorate.
- LOGISTICS WAREHOUSE: the goods may undergo operations that alter their status or nature, provided their origin is not altered; those activities may consist of: assemblage or mounting; mixes; insertion or replacement of parts, pieces or accessories; setup of hardware; installation of software; packing, packaging, labelling or addition of other products always used for the marketing of goods that are to exit the warehouse; and other similar operations established by the Executive Power.
The companies, and port operators, shall keep comprehensive, appropriate and updated records of the goods handled, deposited or stored, received and delivered, shipment by shipment and separated by each storage site. The port services are provided in the country’s commercial ports 24 x 7 every single day of the year, if required. This regime is applied in the country’s main port, as well as in the rest of the commercial ports capable of receiving vessels from overseas.
Public Berths are the multi-purpose terminal RoRo operation is also viable. 78,741 cars were passed through public berths during 2017.
Grain and Bulk Handling
Although there is a dedicated grain terminal, majority of grain shipped/discharged at public berths according to 2017 figures. These figures show 619,953 tons grain handled in public berths via stevedoring companies versus 451,073 tons handled by TGM in 2017. TGM has 3 elevators with telescopic moving arms with suction units. 1200 tons per hour loading rate. MAX LOA 230 meters, PANAMAX operation. Draft 13 meters.
Main Storage Terminal
Total Montevideo Port Area: 110 hectares.
TGM 120,000 tons solid grain warehousing capacity.
TCP has 2 hectares storage and cargo handling area which includes 8000 m2 CFS. TCP Container Yard: 33,5 hectares. Full Container Yard: 10,788 TEUs capacity, Empty Container Yard: 10,000 TEUs capacity.
MONTECON Empty Container Yard is 11 km far from the port are with 12 hectares and 10,000 TEUs capacity.
Number of Storage Facilities
TCP + Public Berths
Container Ships Handling, Container Yard Management, Tug Boats, Pilotage, Salvage, Repair, Solid and Liquid Bulk handling, ships supplies, waste collection services are provided by private stevedoring companies.
Uruguay’s strong commercial relationship with Brazil and Argentina, the concentration of the bulk of the population in its capital, Montevideo, and a low-use railway network, make intra-zone trade flow primarily through the road system. Thus, there is a network of roads linking Montevideo with the main cities in the region. Reserved public berths for cabotage shipments and barges, railway connection is not operational, and it is not expected to be operational before 2022. Trucks are the main means of hinterland connection and due to limited space in public berths which are still pulling the main weight of port operation and port location within the city centre, trucks making long queues outside the port gates and traffic can be heavily congested at times.
Public Berths and TGM Grain terminal have separate gates but they are inter-connected roads inside the port. Terminal Cuenca Del Plata is on the other hand is not connected and it has a separate entry. Without prior authorization, port visit is not possible. At guarded and monitored gates, photo documents are issued for visitors. If port entry will be done with a vehicle, model, colour and licence plate of the car needs to be shared as well. To enter respective terminal after passing port gates, visitor needs to pass a second gate which would be the gate of gates if the respective terminal that is separated with a fenced and monitored area.
Terminal Cuenca Del Plata Certifications: ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007
Terminal Graneles Montevideo: Protocol GMP+B3 (Feed Safety Assurance Certification – In process)
Current ISPS Level
ISPS Level 1