PCNI IV: Number Of Ships Arriving Has Not Recovered

April 21, 2016


I was hoping the number of ships coming into Puerto Cabello would pick up before reporting, but since late March, I have not seen a single day with more than three ship on a single day. This just means that the Government is simply sacrificing imports in order to to comply with its international obligations. This also means that shortages should accentuate in the coming weeks, since the number in January was in the mid-teens.

I apologize for being the bearer of bad news, but that is what the numbers are saying today.

I will only report in the future on the PCNI if there is a significant pick up in the number of cargo ships coming into the country via its most important port.

59 Responses to “PCNI IV: Number Of Ships Arriving Has Not Recovered”

  1. Anon Says:

    Can someone point me to where I can find historical data for the percentage of goods imported into venezuela? Does venezuela import more now than it ever has historically. Or did Chavez’ cheap dollars really destroy local production and incentivize imports that became cheaper with a preferential dollar?

  2. M Rubio Says:

    Breaking: Word here in the pueblo is that Maduro has just announced that the situation with Guri is so critical that public service employees will work only Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.

    Little by little this country is dying.

  3. M Rubio Says:

    My concern is that we now have a full generation of Venezuelans who know nothing but Chavismo. Many of them can’t remember when one could walk into any market and select from 5 kinds of cooking oil, 4 kinds of rice, and various brands of toilet paper all at different prices.

    The economy is so contorted, so illogical, I don’t know how we will ever get from where we are to where we need to be. And try to explain basic market prinicpals to most of these folks and all you get is a blank stare. They often don’t understand inflation nor even the simple concept of what it takes to make a profit.

    The few young people who are willing to work expect to finish their day at noon after you’ve supplied them with a meal and paid them about half as much as someone on mínimum wage earns in an entire week. And about the time you think you can depend on them, they stop showing up.

    Theft, always a problem, has exploded in the last few years. Those who own farms and ranches but don’t live on-site, are reporting they’re getting everything stolen, even animals disappearing in broad daylight. Neighbors wait until your planting of oinions or bell peppers is ready and then steal it the night before you plan to harvest.

    The thieves have no fear of the law. They’ll rob you of your vehicle and then phone you and tell you where to find it after you’ve paid them a ransom. So, you either pay them a ransom to recover the vehicle or perhaps never see it again. If it’s insured and you file a claim, you wait a year for your payment which is now devalued so much you can’t buy nearly the same vehicle. Go to the pólice and if through some miracle they recover the vehicle, it then goes into that black hole known as the “fiscalía”…….but that’s if you’re lucky. I’ve personally seen the pólice recover a vehicle in perfect condition and then at their base remove tires, engines, and cargo before calling the owner. Of course, they claim they found the vehicle in that condtion.

    How do you fix this mess? Where do you start? I think it’s hopeless.

  4. Ira Says:

    A reminder that in less than an hour, the Heritage Foundation’s VZ seminar starts at the link provided above.

  5. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    “As we have been predicting the days of mass social unrest are closer than ever.”

    Really? I countries like Haiti or Guatemala, Honduras, or Cuba, people slowly have gotten used to conditions even worse than Cubazuela. Even less food, high crime, massive corruption. And they don’t have oil.

    In Vzla everyone who could left the country, and they are still leaving. The remaining population is older, poorer or Enchufados one way or another to the galactic public pilferage. They don’t pay taxes, gas is free, as is electricity, education and many other things. People in Vzla are upset, sure, but they keep on putting up with the mess, year after year, after year.

    The police, guardia, military and “justice” system is corrupt, so they know they can kill or be killed with no consequences. They are afraid of massive riots, so they find “guisos”, tigritos, palancas, bachaqueros, exchange shady favors, or flat out steal from the regime enormous payroll. They are complicit, most of “el pueblo” is, not as honest or hard-working as we like to think. They obviously make more than the laughable “minimum salary”, somehow… that’s for sure.

    I bet more than half of the muddy MUD is already bribed, hooked up, one way or another. Can’t beat’em? Join them. And the years continue to pass by. The entire country is just putrid, corrupt, deeply messed up, zero moral values, poorly educated, brain-washed. And that’s just about everyone left, everywhere, at all levels, public or private, puro Guiso. Not just some big bolichicos or politicians in power. Not just the Chavistas (still over half of the ignorant populace loves Chavez). Next thing you know it’s 2019, when the criminal regime tries to steal the presidential elections, to stay in power by any means necessary. They have too much to lose. Glad I got the hell outta there. Kleptozuela is definitively messed up, the corruption cancer has metastasized everywhere. Best case scenario, in 50 years it’s as it was in the 90’s, which was another mess. And no more oil to steal.

    • M Rubio Says:

      Wish I could disagree with your assessment, but I honestly can’t.

      • Ira Says:

        Same here. It’s over. It would take a miracle.


        Countries have miraculously turned around before with proper leadership, so anything is possible.

    • Beelzebub Says:

      Good set of comments.

      Oil is almost always a curse and not a blessing. The first thing that Venezuelans need to address is that oil does not make you rich, it just distorts your economy and (apparently) mindset. Pretty sad that Peru and Colombia have passed Venezuela and will never look back.

      Second, Venezuela is not the only country that has faced a corrupt and authoritarian government. In fact, by many standards, Venezuela is less brutal and more inept (in terms of spying) than many. And yet these countries have often had revolutions, violent uprisings (Haiti? Syria? Iran? Libya? Guinea? Philippines?). Do these always work out? Clearly not. But they happen.

      There are not enough enchufados to prevent this. So what is going on? Or more precisely, what is not going on?

      Third, it seems to me that the National Assembly’s only function was to win an election. There was no chance that they were ever going to get to have any say in anything. Not in Constitutional Amendments, not in referenda, not in summoning Ministers, not in anything. It was never going to happen. Never.

      There are many things it could have done better and there were many people who would have made better members. But they have done what they can do, which is to show to the world that Venezuela is an authoritarian country. Sort of like what Amnesty International does.

  6. Ira Says:

    How come this won’t let me post with a link to a Herutage Foundation event?

    It’s also not letting me post with a link to the English-language version of the above Reuters shipping container article.

  7. Ira Says:

    For those so inclined, on Tuesday at 11AM, The Heritage Foundation is holding a seminar (just an hour) on the VZ economic disaster. It will be live-streamed, and I don’t know if these events are made available for later viewing, but my guess is yes.

    Now, I’m not a huge fan of The Heritage Foundation, but I’ve seen a few of their past seminars and found them very informative. Of course, THIS one would be much more enlightening if Miguel was on the panel:


  8. Ira Says:

    Test–last two posts aren’t appearing.

  9. Ira Says:

    For those so inclined, on Tuesday at 11AM, The Heritage Foundation is holding a seminar (just an hour) on the VZ economic disaster. It will be live-streamed, and I’m not sure if these events are available for later viewing on the site, but my guess is yes.

    Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of The Heritage Foundation, but I’ve seen a few of their seminars and found them very informative.

    Of course, THIS one would be much more enlightening if Miguel was on the panel:


  10. M Rubio Says:

    Things are getting interesting here in the pueblo. The Polar product Harina Pan, the staple of the average Venezuelan’s diet, has gotten almost impossible to find. For a short while I was able to buy maíz triado which in this case was white corn with the concha removed via a machine called a triadora. It’s then boiled, ground, and processed into flour. That supply has dried up.

    The locals are now buying raw corn (maíz con concha) from me and processing their own corn flour. It’s a process that invovles boiling the corn and then mixing it with ashes to remove the concha. At the moment it appears I’m about the only game in town as almost no one stored corn from last year’s harvest (which was way below average BTW). I buy 30-50 thousand kilos of corn every year and store it in barrels. I normally sell it as feed for patio chickens or use it in animal feeds I produce, and my supply normally lasts until September or October. This year I’m calculating my supply will run dry in about a month. Next harvest will be in November.

    I don’t have a clue what these people are going to eat.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      Frightening. Surreal. The government’s insanity here is beyond any nightmare. They are slow-walking people into a famine with Orwellian gibberish hiding their responsibility. “It’s an economic war!” What drivel. There is no food on the shelves, and none coming by containers in the months ahead. What then? Hunger is a terrible thing for any human being to experience, especially when self-inflicted by a government through politics and incompetency. Simply depressing.

    • Ira Says:


      And here’s a recent clip from Valencia:

      I never thought there could be a societal explosion. I thought the people were whipped into submission, apathy, and lacked the cojones to use violence.

      But maybe I’m wrong.

      • M Rubio Says:

        That scene is much more common here than you think, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it looting.

        Often when a “caba” makes its way into town to visit the local Chinese market, the crowds have literally been there overnight waiting for it to arrive. As you might imagine, such crowds can be really tough to control.

        The local pólice will often move the vehicle to their office and sell the product curbside hopefully with better crowd control. Of course, some of the product invariably makes its way into the stationhouse.

        Hard to believe what it’s come to here in this Paraíso Socialista. People waiting in line overnight to buy 2 kilos of harina pan, or rice, or spaguetti. It can only be described as bizarre.

        • Ira Says:

          I never claimed the people were looting–they seemed quite controlled considering the circumstance!

          It appears the GN (or are those police?) were stealing the stuff themselves!

          It’s not like they were transferring a significant quantity of the stuff from one location to another for the “public good.”

          Only THEIR good!

  11. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    Miguel send this graph to Effecto Cocuyo or El Universal…see if they publish it!

  12. ErneX Says:

    Things are deteriorating fast, that is the impression I’m getting from abroad, I’m worried.

  13. Madure = Maduro 🙂

  14. about your article and
    This just means that the Government is simply sacrificing imports in order to to comply with its international obligations.
    I don’t think international obligate Venezuela to have only few ships of products and foods.
    Could you explain.
    The way the article is written, it seems this is because international laws that Venezuela can imports foods and other products.

    The problem come not from international but it is a internal problem (madure vs Polar) and others.

    • IslandCanuck Says:

      They are paying billions in $$ to cover interest & payments for bonds in the world market rather than default & use this money to feed the people.

    • moctavio Says:

      What I mean is that in order to pay its international obligations (bonds, debts and gasoline shipping to friendly countries) the Government is simply cutting back on imports.

  15. IslandCanuck Says:

    Maybe one of the reasons that ships aren’t arriving is that Venezuela owes more than $1 billion to shipping companies for not returning empty containers.

    “Venezuela acumula una multimillonaria deuda con navieras globales por demoras en devolver contenedores, dijeron fuentes conocedoras del tema, una situación que provocó un alza en los costos de importaciones para un país dependiente casi totalmente de ellas y con pocas divisas.”

    “Lo grave es que dicen que no van a reconocer esa deuda”.

    Banca y Negocios

    • Christina Says:

      Just read the art. also some containers are used as warehouse.
      The debt they don’t pay fur sure. What are they planning the so called
      new housing in containers?

    • Daveed Says:

      Here is the article: http://lta.reuters.com/article/topNews/idLTAKCN0XJ1PX
      But it doesn’t make sense to me since, as I recall, a new container is about $4K. Even if they are all refrigerated containers/reefers, it would need to be a lot of them. What am I missing?

      • moctavio Says:

        You are absolutely right Daveed, I did not know how much one container was, but it is $4,000 non-refrigerated and $16,000 refrigerated according to what I could find, That means, it would be between 60,000 and 250,000 containers, hard to believe.

        Great point!

        Can I use this info?

      • LuisV Says:

        It’s not the cost of the container, it’s the 100$/day for every day it’s not returned. The shipping companies make back the cost of a container after 40 days, but keep charging you anyhow (it’s the old Blockbuster model). At that rate, you have 10 million days of late fees. That’s a lot of containers!

        • moctavio Says:

          That would be 274,000 containers if we assume they have been in Venezuela for one year. It still sounds like too many.

      • Caracas Canadian Says:

        Last time I checked the demurrage rate for a 40 ft container was about $ 12-15 per day. Usually the receiver is allowed a certain number of days to discharge and return the container to the shipping line which is included in the rate to ship the container. After that free time (usually 3 or 4 days max) demurrage starts to kick in and accumulates at $ 12 to 15 per day until the container is returned to the shipping line at one of their depots which would most likely be a Pto Cabello.

        A new 40 ft container would be around $ 3750 – 4250 and has a useful life-span as an ocean container of max 3 or 4 years before they are sold off or scrapped.

        I remember about 20 years ago when shipping to West Africa the lines used to force the receiver/shipper to empty the conatiner in the port because the minute a container left the port it was gone and the chances of getting the demurrage paid was next to zero. Am assuming that this is being considered for Chavezland (if possible to enforce) or just increasing the rates to make sure that the idiots also pay for a lost container per each shipment.

        • moctavio Says:

          That would be a factor of ten lower, about 26,000 containers for one year, it still sounds like a lot. Can you store 10,000 containers in Puerto Cabello?

          • Caracas Canadian Says:

            Would think there is space for at best 5,000 containers in the areas I have seen in Pto Cab. But there are containers everywhere I looked in Valencia in the industrial zones and around La Victoria and Maracay. Many of them just lost, forgotten or abandoned

      • Ira Says:

        You got a link for an English version of that article?

  16. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Incredible. Stunning. This reminds one of the forced famine in the 1930’s Ukraine. Back then it was intentional, this is just pure stupidity. Maduro, the half-baked, reincarnated Stalin of the 21st century.

    • It may have been stupidity in part, but back about 10 years ago a Cuban source told me they weren’t too worried if the economy went to hell. A destroyed economy is much easier to nationalize.

      Take for example the Polar beer business. They are so confident their repression machine can handle protests they are going ahead and wrecking it. The beer business will then be taken over by entities willing to bend to the regime. It’s a slow motion of Raúl Castros vision, the military in charge, a single working party, a business community willing to make arrangements. It’s closer to fascism. But Fidel was fascist and racist, admired Franco, until Ché Guevara convinced him communism would yield much tighter control of society,

      Right now you are undergoing a social genocide. Your society is being destroyed, and a lot of what goes on is done on purpose. Their aim is to make Venezuela a Cuban colony, have both move into a hybrid mode joined at the hip. You are colonized by a parasite. And quite a few Venezuelans will cooperate for diverse reasons. Meanwhile the Obama will cruise on with his baloney, and tell you whatever happens is now up to Venezuelans.

      You will be abandoned, just like Cubans have been abandoned. I guess if we were all black we could mount protests and say it’s worse than apartheid. But you aren’t black South Africans, it won’t be fashionable to help you. And I guess you do realize now why the Castro dictatorship is your enemy, and it has to be destroyed before you can be free.

      • Beelzebub Says:

        I am not sure why you would expect the rest of the world (I mean the US) to solve Venezuela’s problem.

        The US’ experience with Cuba and its approach with an endless embargo and constant condemnation of its government has been SO successful. I think it is AMAZING that Obama (and most of the American public) would be interesting in trying something different. Rather, it would be much SMARTER just to continue the same approach for another fifty years and hope it works. After all, since Venezuela is even farther from the US and has an even more independent economy (i.e. oil exports), the Cold War approach is likely to be quite successful there. No?

        Seriously. Let Obama try something else in Cuba. The Cubans have long known that the game is probably up in Venezuela. Of course they will try to hold on as long as possible but this is not the direction they are moving. As always, it is up to the Venezuelan people to figure out a solution to current government…they elected it and many of them of them still worship it.

  17. IslandCanuck Says:

    Miguel, combined with the new electricity rationing (4 hours a day), limited water delivery (many people with no water at all) and problems obtaining food one wonders how much longer the Venezuelan people will put up with this.

    As we have been predicting the days of mass social unrest are closer than ever.

  18. Bill Says:

    Miguel, there are many of us worried about the situation there. Most of us can not do the number crunching as you do. You are greatly appreciated. Please continue with a weekly up date if possible. I and my family are sadly observing from Boise. If I can assist please let me know. You have my contact info for signing in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: