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According to the data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Nicaragua ranks the 110th out of 221 in the world in terms of exports. The total export for Nicaragua in 2015 was $5.12 billion. The most product Nicaragua exports is the insulated wire, which account for 13.4% of the total exports, the next one is knit T-shirts, which represent 9.4%, following is coffee, which stands for 8.3%. There are 55% products exported to the United States, 10% went to Mexico and 5.7% transported to Venezuela (Exhibit 8).
The territory of Nicaragua can be divided into three major geographical areas: the lower Pacific region, the relatively wet and cool central region, and the lower Caribbean region. Nicaragua’s transportation system mainly consists of roads network, air transportation, canal transportation and ocean shipping. Because of Nicaragua’s interior is plateaus and mountains, there is no railway. The inland logistics work operated by truck mainly. However, Nicaragua has institution void on poor infrastructure, there are 15,000 kilometers of roads are dirt-roads, and half of them are inaccessible during rainy season (Doing Business in Nicaragua, 2016). Nicaragua has 2,299 kilometers paved roads, and there is only one 370 kilometers highway in good condition-Pan-American Highway (Doing Business in Nicaragua, 2016). This highway connects the north and south along western coast, which not only benefit Nicaragua’s exporting to neighboring countries, but also convenient the access to Honduras’s port of Cortés and Costa Rica’s port of Limón. The roads connecting west and east in Nicaragua are unpaved, so the connection between Pacific and the Atlantic coasts relies on a road from Managua to El Rama, and the water transport from the river port of El Rama to port of Bluefields on the Atlantic coast. There is a Nicaragua Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to the Panama Canal, which benefits Nicaragua’s exporting.
Due to the geographical factors, Nicaragua’s exporting to non-border countries relies on ocean shipping. There are six international seaports, three in the Pacific coast and three in the Atlantic coast (Exhibit 9). On the Atlantic Coast, Nicaragua has two international seaports-Port of Bluff/Bluefields and Port of Cabezas, and a river port-Port of El Rama. All these ports serve small volumes of international cargo shipments. On the Pacific coast, the three ports are Port of San Juan del Sur, Port of Sandino and Port of Corinto. Port of San Juan del Sur used for cruise. Port of Sandino is Nicaragua’s second most important port, which mainly operate the import of crude oil and solid bulk cargo. Port of Corinto, the largest port in Nicaragua, and the only port in Nicaragua can handle tankers and large ships. The reason it is, which consist of two warehouses, several storage tanks, special equipment for bulk freight, a crane to handle containers, and power outlets for refrigerated containers. In addition, Sandino International Airport offers basic cargo handling, refrigerated storage, and exporting service to major cities in Central America and the United States. Bluefields and Cabezas on the Atlantic coast each have a small commercial airport.
No matter the transporting method for exporting is road transportation, air transportation, canal transportation, or ocean transportation, they all need to make contact with customs. In Nicaragua, there are four border posts-El Guasaule, El Espino, Las Manos and Peñas Blancas. General Directorate of Customs (DGA), authorize a mobile inspection team operated by the company Alvimer International Co. to inspect if merchandise leaves Nicaragua complies with the established parameters. On ports exporting, Nicaragua’s government port management authority-the National Port Enterprise (EPN) takes in charge of the security and shipping. All shipping agency representatives need to help those exporters process pre-ship care administrative proceedings.
Firstly, agency needs to inform the port 72 hours earlier than the vessel arrive and make confirmation with the port 24 hours before the arrival formally (Jessica Cochran, 2016). Also, the agency need to prepare the copy of stowage plan or flat fee, bill of lading, list of export cargo, copy of certificate of compliance with the ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code), list of the last 10 ports where the ship has made stops, crew list to the EPN (Jessica Cochran, 2016). After submit documents to EPN, the exporting process progress enter into port operating. The port offers FANTUZZI machine to move containers, and use cranes and many rigging equipment to help crews load merchandise on vessels (Exhibit 10). Also, the port offer service like transporting equipment loading dock from warehouse to yard. After finishing the loading, the shipping agent should hand in documents like manifest of export cargo, exit permit, crew list to DGA.
As mentioned before, Nicaragua exports most merchandise to the United States. Normally, it takes 6 days at sea if the speed is 16 knots since the merchandise export from Port of Corinto to Port of Miami.
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