In the sugar business, nothing goes to waste. For Grupo Pantaleon, Guatemala’s largest producer and exporter of sugar, this is a principle that has served the 165-year old conglomerate well.
Volatile sugar prices and thin margins mean that Pantaleon must squeeze every ounce of value from its 65,000 hectares of sugar cane, transforming the tall grass-like crop into all kinds of sugar, molasses, alcohol, fertiliser and even electricity – while paying strict attention to their expenses, including those linked to transport and logistics.
“Sugar is a tough business,” says Manolo Muralles, Export Sales Manager at Grupo Pantaleon. “Pantaleon is a leader in this industry because we have good people, a diversified product portfolio and because we keep an eye on cost,” he says. “The new container shipping terminal has great potential in terms of improving the efficiency and lowering the costs of exporters like us and Guatemalan business, in general.”
Modern port and processes
Greater efficiency is precisely what APM Terminals Quetzal aims to bring to customers and the region with its new facility in the Port of Quetzal on Guatemala’s Pacific coast.
Since acquiring the terminal from Grup Maritim TCB in March 2016, APM Terminals has invested approximately USD 190 million in the facility in order to create a unique set of advantages compared to the services provided by the national, multi-purpose terminal next door. Some of these are in the form of physical improvements, which include a deeper draft for ships as large as 9,000 TEUs; a much larger container yard and the installation of the country’s first ship-to-shore (STS) cranes.