Port Overview

The Port of Buenos Aires rests on an estuary of the Rio de la Plata in Argentina about 240 kilometers from the river's mouth to the Atlantic Ocean. An important seaport, the Port of Buenos Aires is about seven kilometers north-northwest of the Port of Dock Sud and about 56 kilometers west-northwest of the Port of La Plata. Its connections to Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay by a system of navigable rivers make it a distribution hub for much of the South American continent.

Argentina's Administracion General de Puertos (General Ports Administration), overseen by the Undersecretary for Ports and Waterways, is the port authority for the Port of Buenos Aires. As a state entity, the General Ports Administration is responsible for the administration, operation, and maintenance of all sea and river ports in the country and the enforcement of port-related laws and regulations.

The Port of Buenos Aires is divided into 2 areas, New Port (Puerto Nuevo) and South Port (Dock Sud) which are 7 km apart from each other (area in between is Puerto Madero which has been an urban development area in recent years and it is occupied with high rise buildings now). Although there are grain terminals in both, none are operational. New Port has 4 terminal concessions which are Terminales Rio De La Plata (DP WORLD majority stake holder), Terminal 4 S.A. (APM Terminals majority stake holder), BACTSSA – Buenos Aires Container Terminal Services S.A. (Hutchinson majority stake holder) and Voxen Tank Terminal. Concession was due for 2019 but it is extended till March 2020. 2109 is Presidential election year and current government has the intention to move the port out of the city centre and open space for urban development projects. On the other hand, Exolgan Terminal (PSA) in the South Port is not a concession and it is owned by the terminal operator.

As reference (September 2012), the limiting depth in the Main Channel between Recalada and Zona Común is approximately 10.50 m (34′ 4″) at datum in a channel width of 100 m. From Zona Común the limiting depth in the Access Channel is approximately 10.80 m (35′ 5″) in a channel width of 100 m. From km 12.0 to km 0 in the North Channel the limiting depth is approximately 10.36 m (34 ft) at datum in a channel width of 80 m. From km 6.8 to km 0.1 in the South Channel the limiting depth is approximately 10.20 m (33´5´´) at datum in a channel width of 90 m.

The Parana River carries enormous quantities of mud in suspension which slowly precipitates as the rate of flow decreases and the water spreads out into hundreds of rivers, streams and brooks that form the Parana Delta and eventually the River Plate. Since recording of the delta began in 1850, the edge of the islands has been growing southward at a rate of about 10 meters a year. So, dredging is a continuous effort here.

Majority of berths can accommodate vessels of LOA up to 200-250 meters. Only 2 positions available, one for vessels of LOA up to 270 meters and other for vessels of LOA up to 300 meters. Port Pilots are obligatory, with certain limited exceptions as stipulated by Prefectura Naval (Coast Guard) generally for Argentinian flag vessels and Argentinian shipowners operating foreign flag vessels.

Various private tugs companies operate at Buenos Aires, units’ powers ranging from 2400 up to 4100 HP and from 1200 up to 1800 HP. As per Coastguard regulations 2 tugs must be used on entering, sailing or shifting with variations and exceptions for vessels of LOA not exceeding 120 meters.

Tides are semi-diurnal, and the height of the tide can be notably influenced by the force, direction and persistency of the wind; so much so that, in the case of SE´ly gales (Sudestada) tides of 1 to 2 m (say 3 to 6 ft) above the tabulated values are not unusual. Also tides of several feet below the tabulated values can be experienced when steady N´ly winds set in. Additionally, somewhat lower tides can be experienced immediately following a prolonged blow from the South and somewhat higher tides following a prolonged blow from the North.

Manufacturing is an important component of the Port of Buenos Aires economy that produces meat, dairy, wool, leather, grain, and tobacco products, as are agricultural and industrial activities outside the city limits. Other major industries in the Port of Buenos Aires include oil refining, machine building, automobile manufacturing, and metalworking as well as manufacturing of textiles, clothing, beverages, and chemicals. The Pampa Humeda to the west of the Port of Buenos Aires is the richest agricultural area in Argentina.

Port website: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/transporte/puerto-buenos-aires

Key port information may also be found at: http://www.maritime-database.com

Port Location and Contact



Province or District

Buenos Aires

Nearest Town or City with Distance from Port

Within Buenos Aires

Port's Complete Name

Puerto Buenos Aires





Managing Company or Port Authority

Administracion General de Puertos S.E. (New Port) and Delegación Dock Sud (South Port)

Management Contact Person

Gonzalo Mórtola (A.G.P.)

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures


Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, Avianca, Gol, Copa Airlines, LAN, TAM, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways

Port Pictures

Additional pictures from the port assessment mission are in this link.


Description and Contacts of Key Companies

New Port Container & Multi-purpose Terminal Operators
  • Terminal Rio De La Plata S.A.
  • Terminal 4 S.A.
New Port Tank TerminalVoxen Almacenajes
Dock Sud Container Terminal OperatorExolgan S.A.

For contact information, please see the following links: 3 Argentina Contact List and Buenos Aires Port Companies.

Port Performance 

There is no port congestion issue and number of vessel calls are on the decline due to reshaping of service structures and growing sizes of the vessels. Higher historical volumes are noted for July, August, September and December.

Seasonal Constraints


Time Frame

Rainy Season



Major Import Campaigns


Higher historical volumes are noted for July, August, September and December. (Export & Import Total)

Other Comments


Handling Figures for 2017

Vessel Calls


Container Traffic (TEUs)


Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for 2017

Bulk (MT)

1,118,400 (All Liquid)

Break bulk (MT)


Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

For information on port rates and charges, please see the following links:

Port Authority:


Container (Multi-purpose) Terminals:







Tank Terminal:


Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth


Length (m)

Maximum Draft (m)


Conventional Berth

11 conventional berths

  • TRP (4)
  • Terbasa (1)
  • Dock Sud West Side (6)

1178 m total

  • TRP Basin B North (250 m)
  • Pierhead 3 (200 m)
  • Terbasa Pierhead 4 (300 m)
  • Dock Sud West Side Berths 9 -14 (428 m)
  • TRP: 9.7 m
  • Terbasa: 9.4 m
  • Dock Sud West Side: 7.9 m

Covering New Port, South Port and Dock Sud all together. Terbasa is a grain terminal but it is not operational for years now. TRP Ex Basin A Northside (235 m) is reserve berth and it is included in the figures. TRP Berth 10 is for transhipment/barge/feeder operation and it is included in the figures. Oil and gas berths and jetties not included in mentioned figures.

Container Berth

16 container berths

  • TRP (9)
  • Terminal 4 (2)
  • Terbasa (2)
  • BACTSSA (4)
  • EXOLGAN (1)

4805 m total

  • TRP (1881 m)
  • TERMINAL 4 (674 m)
  • TERBASA (585 m) 
  • BACTSAA (665 m) 
  • EXOLGAN (1000 m)
  • TRP: 8.4 – 10.6 m
  • Terminal 4: 9.1-10 m
  • Terbasa: 6.6-9.4 m
  • BACTSSA: 8.6-10 m
  • EXOLGAN: 11.9 m

Covering New Port, South Port and Dock Sud all together. Terbasa is a grain terminal but it is not operational for years now.

Silo Berth

Terbasa (2)

585 m

6.6-7 m

Not operational

Berthing Tugs


Water Barges


Berth Assignment: Requests are made directly to the terminals and the Port Administration (AGP) must also be kept informed. For all Dock Sud berths, application must be made to the Dock Sud authority (Delegación Dock Sud) and to the terminal operators via the ship’s agent. Free pratique: Must be requested by cable, telex or fax via ship’s agent but is only granted on the Port Health Doctor’s visit alongside. At the first port of call vessels must fly the “Q” flag on entry.

General Cargo Handling Berths

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

TRP (Basin B North) / Dock Sud Berths 9 to 14 (West Side)

Exports - Bagged Cargo

TRP (Basin B North) / Dock Sud Berths 9 to 14 (West Side)

Imports and Exports - RoRo

Containers: TRP (Pier 1, Pier 2, Basin C South), Terminal 4 (Basin C-West, Basin C-North), Terbasa (Berth 1&2), BACTSSA (Basin D-West, Basin D-North, Pierhead No. 5), Exolgan (Frontage)

Ro-Ro: TRP (Pierhead 3)

Other Imports

Exports Liquid Tank Terminal Voxen operating from Basin E

Port Handling Equipment

Port handling equipment is managed privately. Port Equipment Container (Multi-purpose) Terminals are concessions to private terminal operators and equipment are managed privately. Public berths are managed directly government (port authority) but equipment is provided by private stevedoring companies.

Available services: Port Pilots, Tugs, Shore linesmen, launches, rat guards (80 cm, must), fenders (must), galley and hold refuse, fumigation, ship’s gangway watchmen (must for all foreign flag vessels over 2000GRT), repairs afloat (Coastguard and terminal permission required), dry-docks, divers, compass and direction finder adjustments, marine salvage, safety equipment, victuals–usual ship’s stores, bunkers and lub-oils, slops, electric power, shore cranes and dockside equipment (in addition to terminal operators, stevedoring companies outside these terminals have equipment and mobile cranes of varying lifting capacities are available for hire), floating cranes (Satecna 1, Magnus 6, Magnus 9), fresh water and port visits.



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane


Terminal 4 S.A. (2 X Ceretti Tanfanni, 35 MT capacity)


Container Gantries


  • 25 at New Port (15) and 10 at Dock Sud (10)
  • 22 at Super Post-Panamax STS (41 to 51.25 MT)
  • 3 at Panamax STS

In actual usage and in working condition:

  • TRP (10 Super Post Panamax)
  • BACTSSA (5 Super Post Panamax)
  • Exolgan (7 Super Post Panamax+3 Panamax)

Mobile Cranes


10 in total

  • TRP: 5 in total
    • 3 units HANGZHOU HAIHONG AUTOTRADE – (50 MT capacity)
    • 2 units GOTTWALD (52 MT and 35 MT capacities)
  • TERMINAL 4: 4 units Liebherr LHM600 (208 MT capacity)
  • BACTSSA: 1 Liebherr LHM 400 (100 MT capacity)

Actual usage and working condition.

 Reach stacker


61 in total

  • TRP: 24 units
    • 3 units  Taylor Heavy Top Lifter (30 MT capacity)
    • 4 units Kalmar Reach Stacker (45 MT capacity)
    • 17 units Kalmar Empty Container Handler 10 MT (capacity)
  • Terminal 4: 15 units
    • 12 units SMV Reach Stacker (45 MT capacity)
    • 3 units SMV Empty Container Handler  (10 MT capacity) 
  • BACTSSA: 12 units
    • 6 units KALMAR Reach Stacker (45 MT capacity)
    • 6 units KALMAR Empty Container Handler (10 MT capacity)
  • EXOLGAN: 12 units
    • 12 units Empty & Full Container Handlers


RoRo Tug master (with Trailer)




Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines






62 RTGs in total

  • TRP: 25 units PACECO RTGs (40 MT capacity)
  • TERMINAL 4: None
  • ACTSSA: 13 units KALMAR RTGs (40 MT capacity)
  • EXOLGAN: 24 RTGs

Mostly for the container blocks within terminals rather than railway operation.



68 in total

  • TRP: 28 units
    • 2 units Kalmar forklifts (37 MT capacity)
    • 3 units Hyster forklifts (7.5 MT capacity)
    • 3 units Hyster forklifts (4.5 MT capacity)
    • 20 units Toyota forklifts (2.5 MT capacity)
  • TERMINAL 4: 11 units
    • 1 unit TCM forklift (12 MT capacity)
    • 10 units Caterpillar forklifts (2.5 MT capacity)
  • BACTSSA: 17 units Hyster forklifts (7.5 MT capacity)
  • EXOLGAN: 12 forklifts




67 in total

  • TRP
    • 45 units Otawa Terminal Tractor  (50 MT capacity)
    • 2 units Ford F4000 (4 MT capacity)
    • 2 units Ford Ranger
    • 18 units terminal tractor (50 MT capacity)

EXOLGAN information is not available.



93  in total

  • TRP: 48 units Vulcano 40-ft container trailer (50 MT capacity)
  • TERMINAL 4: None
  • BACTSSA: 45 units Darwin 40-ft container trailer (50 MT capacity)

EXOLGAN information is not available.

Container Facilities

Main port activity in Buenos Aires Port is for containerized volumes. In 2017, almost 87% of the volumes moved are containerized cargo, excludingExolgan (PSA) Container Terminal figures(as it is technically not inside Buenos Aires Port).


Please see below links for shipping lines and which strings are calling each terminal (Due to nature of the business this is updated frequently so only the links are provided):


20 and 40 ft

Container Facilities Available

4 Container Terminals with a total of 16 berthing positions and 4805 meters quay with drafts in between 8,4-10,6 meters.

Container Freight Station (CFS)

BACTSSA and EXOLGAN are primary options for CFS operation.

TRP: Terminal 4, 3558 m2


  • Bonded Warehouse Wilson A -Covered Area 7859 m2
  • General storage 6400 m2
  • Lockers for valuable cargo 100 m2
  • Controlled temperature chamber 100 m2
  • Shed area 1259 m2
  • 1800 pallets on racks, 1400 pallets on the ground storage capacity
  • Stuffing, stripping, storage for non-palletized cargo
  • Palletized cargo
  • Stock control
  • Storage for bonded cargo
  • Fragile cargo handling
  • Mobile vacuum system for grain handling
  • IMO cargo storage certificate
  • security and CCTV
  • operation coordination
  • cargo clearance on trucks
  • reefer cargo container control
  • cross-docking
  • customs clearance inspection
  • project cargo coordination and handling on-line information
  • integrated  to terminal bonded services


  • 12000 m2 area
  • 1500 mindoors
  • private security,
  • CCTV,
  • handling of palletized and oversized cargo, coils, rack storage, RO-RO loads, labelling, repackaging, reefer consolidation, and lashing.
  • Senasa-authorized for citrus  shipments tracing.

Refrigerated Container Stations

Available in BACTSSA and EXOLGAN CFS.

Other Capacity Details


Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)


Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)

3822 Plugs

  • TRP – 1320 plugs
  • TERMINAL 4 – 474 plugs
  • BACCTSA – 720 plugs
  • EXOLGAN – 1308 plugs

Emergency Take-off Capacity


Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)


Customs Guidance 

DGA (Direccion General de Aduanas – General Customs Bureau) is operating under AFIP (Administracion Federal de Ingresos Publicos – Public Revenue Federal Administration) administration. Customs Work Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00.

Argentina is a member of MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur). 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.

It is imperative to work with a well-recognized customs broker for smooth export customs clearance as it could be quiet bureaucratic process, yet customs services have much improved by the introduction of Maria online declaration system which all customs agents and terminals are connected to. Shipping lines needs to present export manifest prior to vessel sailing so any cargo that is not declared to customs 24-48 hours prior to ETS of subject vessel will risk cut-off and roll-over to the next call.

Speaking for containerized cargo, all export and import containers are x-rayed within the port terminals in accordance to customs regulations.

Inspection Harmonised System

Argentina uses the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as the 'Harmonised System,' developed by the World Customs Organisation. The system comprises nearly 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six-digit code, and is utilised by m Argentine Customs, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance, has a three-tiered classification system related to goods inspection:

A form declaring quantities and composition of goods must also be provided to the Ministry of Industry ten days before clearing Customs. All documents presented to Argentinean authorities must be in Spanish or be accompanied with a translation from a certified translator. As a member of Mercosur, Argentina applies the common external tariff (CET), which is between around 0 and 20% for most products. Some automotive goods face a tariff up to 35%. Information technology and capital goods are temporarily exempt from the CET.

In addition to import tariffs, there are other fees, including:

Terminal Information

Multipurpose Terminal

TRP and Terminal 4 are multi-purpose terminals. Exolgan is also able to handle RO-RO vessels.

Grain and Bulk Handling

There is only liquid bulk operation in Buenos Aires Port. 2017 volumes for grain shipments is zero. Voxen has 2 Tank Terminals inside the port area which are connected to the quay with pipelines. It can support combustible, vegetable oil, mineral oil, caustic soda, fertilizer, biodiesel shipments.

Voxen Terminal 1: Total 7000m3 Tank capacity with tanks 250 m3 to 500 m3, ships with LOA 200 M can be operated, heating for the tanks and pipes.

Voxen Terminal 2: It is construction is supposed to be started in 2016 with 13600 m3 tank capacity.


Main Storage Terminal

Main operation in Buenos Aires Port is for containerized cargo.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo



Refrigerated Cargo

Container terminals for reefer containers only


General Cargo

Container Terminals



Flat rates are quoted by all terminal operators as also by private stevedoring companies operating at Dock Sud public berths.

Hinterland Information

Buenos Aires Port is connected to railways, road and cabotage services performing domestic sea transport in between Argentinian Ports. Trucks take the lead in inland connections. Trenes Argentinas Cargas (Belgrano Group) is main operator connecting the port to Northern Argentina, Northern Pampa and Central Pampa. Since 2011 export volumes arriving by wagons to the port increased from 3,341,000 tons to 7,374,000 tons (2017 figure). TRP is the main terminal with railway connectivity 7,104,000 tons with export connections were handled by TRP in 2017, T4 handled 269,000 tons and BACTSSA handled 1000 tons. Exolgan info n/a.


Port Security

The Port Authority (AGP) has an ISPS department which oversees the fulfilment of ISPS codes and the coordination with respective security officers and Coastguard for all terminals including cruise terminal.

Applicable regulations: International code for the Protection of ships and port facilities (ISPS code).

Ordinance 4/2003 (DPSN) Law 22079.

Quality Management System (ISO 9001): Security and Environmental Control Department is committed to continually providing and improving inspection services to ensure compliance with the legal framework by the Permissions and Concessionaires of the Port Authority (AGP).

The following observations are valid for TRP only but it can be expected that similar security systems to be in place in other container terminals. It is possible to arrange port visit directly with terminal operator without providing full name and identification details in advance. They have more than 200 security cameras, drones for aerial surveillance and 365 days of video storage. Gates are monitored (CCTV), guarded (guards with radio) and all entries and exits are noted. Fingerprints are taken, biometrics used for entry and exit, all with full body rotating doors. Cruise Terminal is part of Terminal Rio De La Plata (DP World) which has main function a container terminal. Helmet and vest provided for terminal entry. All terminals have separate gates and there is no main port entry gate. 

Container Terminals Certifications:


ISPS Compliant


Current ISPS Level
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional)

Level 1

Police Boats


Fire Engines