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 main
product that Nicaragua exports is the insulated wire, which account for 13.4%
of the total exports. The second largest one is knit T-shirts, which represent
9.4%. Following is coffee, which stands for 8.3% (Exhibit 5). In 2015, 55% of the products were exported to
the United States, 10% to Mexico and 5.7% to Venezuela (Exhibit 6).
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 Nicaragua’s interior is
plateaus and mountains, there is no railway. The inland logistics work is
mainly operated by truck. Nicaragua has institution void on poor infrastructure.
15,000 kilometers of roads are dirt-roads, and half of them are inaccessible
during rainy season (Doing Business in Nicaragua, 2016). 2,299 kilometers of roads in Nicaragua are
paved, and there is only one 370 kilometers highway in good condition, Pan-American
(Doing Business in Nicaragua, 2016). The
highway benefits Nicaragua’s exporting to neighboring countries — Honduras and
Costa Rica. Since the road connecting west and east coast are unpaved, the
connection between Pacific and the Atlantic coasts relies on a road from
Managua to El Rama, and then the water transport from the river port of El Rama
to port of Bluefields. The benefit of Nicaragua Canal for exporting would be
connecting the exporting activity from the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast
to the Panama Canal.
Due to the geographical factors, Nicaragua relies
on ocean shipping to export to the non-border countries. There are six
international seaports spreading over Pacific coast and Atlantic coast (Exhibit 7).
Along the Atlantic Coast, there are two international seaports and one river
port, which are Port of Bluefields, Port of Cabezas, and Port of El Rama. 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 is used for cruise. Port of Sandino is the
second largest port in Nicaragua because it mainly handles the import of crude
oil and solid bulk cargo. Port of Corinto, the largest and the only commercial
port in Nicaragua, handles tankers and large ships. This port has two
warehouses and several storage tanks for storage. It offers special equipment
and one crane to handle containers and bulk freight. In addition, Sandino
International Airport offers basic cargo handling, refrigerated storage, and
exporting service to major cities in Central America and the United States.
There are also two small commercial airport in city Bluefields and Cabezas.
Whether exporters export their merchandise
through road transport, air transport, canal transport or ocean transport, they
must contact with customs. There are four road border posts in Nicaragua, which
are El Guasaule, El Espino, Las Manos, and Peñas Blancas (Exhibit 7). 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 to process pre-ship administrative proceedings. Firstly, agency
need to inform the port 72 hours earlier than the vessel arrive and make
confirmation with the port 24 hours before the arrival formally (Cochran, 2016). Also, the agency need to prepare a 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, and crew list to the EPN (Cochran, 2016). After submitting documents to EPN, the
export process progress to port operating. The port offer FANTUZZI machine to
move containers, and use cranes and many rigging equipments to help crews load
merchandise on vessels (Exhibit 8). Also, the port offer service such as
transporting equipment loading dock from warehouse to yard. After finishing
with the loading, the shipping agent should hand in documents including
manifest of export cargo, exit permit, and crew list to DGA.
mentioned before, Nicaragua export 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 (Ports.com).