Unexpected and unseasonably rough seas caused the closure of Santos, South America’s biggest port for containers, for more than 30 hours at the end of last week and Monday. Shippers and carriers suffered delays and some cargo had to be rolled over to later sailings, according to Sindamar, the Santos ship agents association. The São Paulo Port Captain’s department ordered the closure of the port because the entrance channel was inundated with waves of four meters (13 feet) and winds of 88 kilometers per hour (55 miles per hour).
Codesp, the port authority for Santos, reported that 13 ships were unable to dock while eight had their departures delayed and another eight were waiting to berth. The high waves and wind also flooded roads in various districts of Santos. Once the wind had slowed to 44 kph and the waves had fallen to 2 meters, the port reopened. On Thursday and Friday, Santos was also dealing with additional delays caused by the paperless port system, which crashed and slowed the issuing of clearance documents.