When the Port of Montevideo’s free port status finally came into effect in 1992, Uruguay had no car carrier infrastructure or facilities. A year later, the Montevideo Harbour South America (MHSA) president saw an opportunity for the company to become the trusted maritime agent for Asian automakers that wanted to penetrate the MERCOSUR common market, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Twenty-five years later, MHSA has become one of the largest car carriers servicing the Rio de la Plata region, an area of nearly 200 million people.

Operating 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, the Port of Montevideo and MHSA offer competitive advantages to companies that depend on just-in-time and speed-to-market principles.

Montevideo is the first and only terminal on South America’s Atlantic coast within a free port zone. Commodities and goods that pass through its premises are exempt from all taxes and surcharges. MHSA also has an office in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion.

“In a regime of free competition, we realize a company’s need for speed-to-market and facilitate the services to the ships, the merchandise and their passage. Another advantage of Montevideo and MHSA is we provide quicker access to the heart of MERCOSUR. A river route through Montevideo is more cost effective than an overland route from the Pacific ports in the long run,” MHSA President Francisco Sugo said.

“MHSA appreciates the relationship we have with our Asian customers. We look forward to continuing this longtime relationship and helping Asian exporters to get their products into the head of the MERCOSUR through our services,” he added.