Chile is in two ways a very unusual country: it has a long, thin shape that resembles a string of spaghetti, and almost all of its people live in a small central section with the rest of the nation being thinly populated. This situation, along with the numerous fjords, inlets, and islands that cut up its coast and the majestic, towering Andes mountains that follow its stringy form the whole vast length of the nation combines to present a truly challenging transportation situation.
The booming economic prosperity of Santiago (the capital) and the nation as a whole stands in stark contrast with the withering poverty of many other South American nations. Chile’s dominance of the crucial Drake Passage at South America’s southern tip may not grant it the importance it once did before the completion of the Panama Canal, but it still serves as a major economic advantage. Chile’s abundant natural resources, especially mineral wealth, have bestowed upon it a shower of economic blessings that seem to have no end. Copper accounts for one-fifth of Chile’s above-average GDP and three-fifths of its export value. It has within its bounds the world’s largest copper mine (Escondida) and produces five percent of the world supply.
All exports and imports must successfully and efficiently navigate Chile’s existing transportation system in order for maximum profits to be realized. While Chile’s rail network is now defunct, it has a good (if incomplete) system of roads, eight major airports, and numerous sea ports. Chile’s Easter Island has the most remote airport in the world, and the six-million strong Santiago de Chile boasts a huge airport which transported 12 million people in 2011.
The ports are spread fairly evenly from the Peruvian border down to Talcahuano. After a break, ports at Valparaiso and San Antonio serve the nearby inland Santiago. After yet another break, comes a collection of ports in and near the town of Puerto Montt. This last town also is the end-point of the main highway system (Highway five). Finally, there is another group of ports concentrated around Drake Passage.
Since Chile singed free trade agreements with the U.S. and other nations, it has seen an increase in freight and other cargo shipments with the U.S. and much of Asia (especially China). If you are interested in shipping goods into or out of Chile, we can offer you our experience at arranging cost-effective transit of goods through expert logistical computation and implementation practices. We have agents in Chile who know well the local laws and shipping realities who can assist you greatly.
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