Caribbean port and logistics platform
Logo Puerto de Cartagena SPRC Logo Contecar

Access Channel

Commercial, military and tourism vessels, as well as tankers, enter Cartagena´s Bay via the Bocachica channel.

The dredging to deepen and expand the channel was completed recently, so that ships of up to 16,000 TEUs can reach Cartagena’s piers.

The Port of Cartagena is totally committed to the expansion process. This project marks an important step towards consolidating Cartagena’s position as a strategic connectivity point in the Caribbean by allowing greater ships enter its bay. Thus, receiving ships this size will allow a greater economy of scale, since the more containers the bay receives the lower the individual freight cost will be. As a result, companies will be more competitive, eventually fostering social and economic development in Colombia.

Access channel

Depth: 20.5 meters
Width: between 140 and 200 meters
Vessels: 180,000 tonnes

Information about the deepening of access to the bay of Cartagena

Financing model for the access channel to bay of Cartagena


An alternative channel

Announcement of construction of an alternative channel 

In July of 2015, Colombia´s Vice-President, Germán Vargas Lleras, announced that funds totaling 60,000 million COP had been allocated to the project concerning the second access channel in Cartagena´s Bay. The announcement was made during an extraordinary session of the Colombian Ocean Commission, bearing in mind changes in international logistics brought about by the new marine fleets in the world and the expansion of the Panama Canal.

The dredging will allow:

  • the bay to cope with the envisaged increase in sea traffic due to higher-capacity oil and container vessels;
  • operations in Latin America’s most modern refinery;
  • commissioning of the Puerto Bahía Liquids Terminal, which will import liquefied gas; and
  • the growth in industrial development in the city.

Alternative channel: bay of Cartagena  

State of the art technology 

The access channel to the Contecar terminal is an example of the state-of-the-art technology used by the Port of Cartagena. A modern system of satellite-controlled buoys transmits specific information about each ship and its position. Navigation safety is thus increased, and the passage of large-draft vessels is simplified.