Ecuador's state-owned Manta port authority APM and the public works and transport ministry (MTOP) are working together on a plan to build a dry port in Santo Domingo district, APM's head of communications, Fernando Holguín, told BNamericas.
APM is drawing up a plan to promote the dry port facility, which would be located between the country's coastal and mountainous areas, linking with cities Quito, Guayaquil, Portoviejo, Chone, Esmeraldas, Manta, Ambato and Quevedo.
Port authorities are currently holding talks with trading companies to determine priorities and draw up an investment plan to increase the port's container cargo handling capacity and logistics.
Increasing investment at Manta is an "absolute requirement" to guarantee Ecuador's cargo handling efficiency, according to Holguín. The national government is also working on a multimodal transport development plan that will improve access to the port.
APM is currently in talks with a bulk cargo transport company to increase the firm's activity at the port. An agreement is expected to be reached, which will translate into a strong increase in Manta's bulk handling activity, said Holguín, declining to reveal the name of the company.
Manta aims to become an alternative to Ecuador's Guayaquil and Bolívar ports and will only achieve its goal by becoming more competitive in terms of container handling, Holguín added.