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Waterways cast aside in Brazil’s infrastructure plans

Brazil has huge potential to use its rivers as cargo transportation routes, but the system is dramatically underused

waterways brazil
Photo: Leonardo Pepi/Min. Infrastructure

The year 2020 is deemed to be a crucial one for Brazilian infrastructure. Here at The Brazilian Report, we have covered the government’s plans for selling off a number of concessions in the highway, airport, and railway sectors, but one facet of infrastructure has been so far overlooked: the country’s internal system of waterways.

While Brazil has a domestic waterway network of 63,000 kilometers, only 31 percent of it is actually in use by transport infrastructure. Even so, the volume of cargo moved around the country by waterways grew 34.8 percent between 2010 and 2018, reaching 101.5...

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