German shipping giant Hapag Lloyd has developed a joint venture with Norsul, forming “Norcoast”.

According to Hapag Lloyd, operations are set to commence by Q1 2024, with customers being offered independent and integrated container transport services.

The company’s request to register Norcoast as a Brazilian shipping company was approved by the board of directors of the National Waterway Transport Agency (ANTAQ). The joint venture was also approved by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Brazil’s national competition regulator.

Andres Kulka, senior managing director of Latin America at Hapag-Lloyd, emphasised how the joint venture is taking advantage of the growing Brazilian shipping market: “The Brazilian coastal transport sector is constantly growing and handled over 1.2 million TEU in 2022.

“Norcoast will offer integrated logistics as well as quick and efficient solutions for its customers, thereby taking advantage of the increasing demand in Brazil’s coastal shipping market.”

Through this partnership, Norsul can extend 60 years of experience in the cabotage sector. The company transported more than 28 million tonnes of solid bulk and registered 2.2bn reais ($43m) in revenue in 2022.

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Norsul CEO Angelo Baroncini added: “The creation of Norcoast is an important milestone while it combines the expertise of Hapag-Lloyd and Norsul.

“Norcoast will promote access, additional capacity and inclusion of companies in the use of coastal navigation as a transportation mode whilst being present in the largest ports in Brazil.”

This agreement further follows the Brazilian cabotage act in 2022, which was designed to improve cargo transportation and increase the quality of cabotage in the region.

According to the Brazilian Government, the cabotage act has the potential to increase short-sea shipping from 11% to 30% and double the capacity by 2022.