The First-Class Ports Program is aimed at improving the quality of port services  as an element of strategic support to regional integration and to the development of the competitiveness of the productive export sectors.

The program is built on three basic pillars:

  • CAF's prior work on logistics, competitiveness, and transportation.
  • Territorial planning studies carried out under the IIRSA Initiative.
  • The port management model based on a Seal of Guarantee, successfully implemented in the port of Valencia, Spain.

In its first phase, the program worked with the five Andean ports with the highest container traffic: Cartagena and Buenaventura (Colombia), Guayaquil (Ecuador), El Callao (Peru), and Puerto Cabello (Venezuela).

Diagnostic studies were done in each port, and Quality Councils  were created with the participation of representatives of trade unions and all port community organizations to guide the task of reengineering critical processes.

Once this phase was completed in 2007, the next phase, which was unprecedented in the region, gave way to the creation of the Latin American Port Quality Association (ALCP), a non-profit organization that is the owner of the Seal of Guarantee throughout the region and provides the institutional framework for the sustained operations of this port management system.

The ALCP offers specific quality of service guarantees to the clients of each port that obtains certification. These guarantees act as incentives for the continuous improvement of the merchandise handling processes and of the ships that use these ports. In each country, the ALCP works through national chapters, which serve as operations support in the affiliated ports.

The benefits of this process are evident in the improvements  made in the critical procedures of each port.

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