Callao, Peru

Situated 10 kilometers west of the capital city of Lima, the port of Callao is the largest seaport for Peru. The history of the port of Callao stretches back to the early 1500’s when Spanish colonists arrived onto the shores and created El Callao as a major port city. The port was of major economic importance for South American trade as goods were shipped out of Callao from other countries such as Bolivia and Argentina. In the early years, the major export shipped from the port was gold and silver which led to piracy in the region. International shipping services through the port of Callao continued for the next 200 years until a major tsunami caused by an earthquake in 1746 destroyed the port. In 1851 a railroad was built to connect the port of Callao with Lima and this became the first railroad in South. Natural disasters continued to plague the port when in 1940 it was hit with another severe earthquake that destroyed the port.

To increase the amount of trade between Peru and its largest trade partner, the United States, the United States Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) was signed in 2006 and went into effect in 2007. The purpose of the agreement was to eliminate tariffs on a number of goods between the two countries. Today, the major exports into the Peru from the United States include overseas car shipping service and international construction equipment shipping to the port of Callao. In 2011 the port of Callao received investments of over $1 billion dollars to assist in building the infrastructure and capability of the port. As a result of the investment, two major container terminals were improved allowing for increased capacity for all major international shipping services into Peru. The improvement of the container terminals now allows for increased shipments of machinery, high heavy equipment, plastic and electronic machinery into Peru.

Some notable features of the port of Callao, Peru

  • Since the enactment of the PTPA international shipping services to Peru from the United States increased by over 400%.
  • In addition to handling container cargo, the port also has facilities for roll-on / roll-off vessels allowing for the shipment of oversized and rolling cargo such as trucks, buses, cars, construction equipment and heavy machinery into Callao, Peru from the USA and other countries.
  • The Ferrocarril Central Andino Railway connects the port of Callao with the capital city of Lima and interior Peru, thus providing extended international shipping services within Peru. The railway is currently the 2nd highest railroad in the world.

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