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Katoen Natie Terminal Cuenca del Plata, the Specialized Container Terminal of the Port of Montevideo, has a total concession area of 58,5hás.  Currently over 35 hectares are operational, more than enough to fulfill the current needs of Uruguay’s international trade, and making progress in the new project to encompass the totality of our conceded area

We are always striving to increase our productivity, a key aspect in the business, both in ship operations as well as in the container yard. Our berth is equipped with Super Post Panamax gantry cranes able to reach 22 container rows across the width of the ship, and the container yard is operated with straddle carriers. Our modern software is another element which helps us reach the greatest productivity efficiency.

Our terminal offers electric power supply for refrigerated cargo, and all the services associated to frozen or refrigerated goods.  TCP also offers container maintenance and repair services, container cleaning, IMO container cleaning, and a 7,000 square meter logistics warehouse for value added activities.


Katoen Natie Terminal Cuenca del Plata is located in a strategic geographic enclave which has been of great importance since colonial times.  It currently plays a very relevant role in making Montevideo a regular stop in the regional routs of the main container carrier lines for international trade.

The Port of Montevideo has always been the driving force behind the history and development of our city, and our terminal is a key element in the current and future history of the port.

The Bay of Montevideo has been a safe port since 1516, when it was discovered by Spanish navigators. Featuring better natural conditions than the Port of Buenos Aires which allow access to larger vessels, and being strategically located at the mouth of the River Plate, the Spanish Navy chose the Port of Montevideo as an official anchoring point in the southern area of South America, even though the city was much smaller than Buenos Aires.

From that moment on, the port of Montevideo became a transshipment port for cargo coming from and going to Argentina, in relentless competition with the Port of Buenos Aires.

The cornerstone of the current port is set in place in the early 1900’s, and the first great infrastructure projects, including the Sarandí Breakwater, were built by French and Belgian construction companies.

At that time, by advise of Belgian dredging companies, the Uruguayan government determined by law that the port access channel had to be dredged to -10 meters (in reference to the official “0”), and in consequence the quay walls were built over pillars that allowed dredging down to that depth.

This foresight allowed the Port of Montevideo to remain competitive up to this day.

Currently the relevant increase in regional trade and in maritime cargo containerization have forced the shipping lines to significantly increase the size of their ships, demanding greater investment from the ports, in larger and stronger quay walls, deeper dredging, and larger container yard areas.

The terminal is moving in the right direction, leading the way for the port of Montevideo to be consolidated as the regional hub.

Construction project: 2001 - 2020

Since the first day of the concession in 2001 until today, the Specialized Container Terminal has grown in infrastructure, doubled the extension of the main quay wall, constantly expanded the container yard, and regularly invested in facilities and equipment.

The total area granted in concession to the Specialized Container Terminal is 58,5 has. Until September 2020 TCP had reclaimed 27 hectares from the bay, with the possibility of reclaiming 23 additional hectares.

When TCP started operations in 2001, the main quay wall, built in the 1930’s over concrete caissons, was 288 meters in length and fit to operate ships with a maximum draft of 10.5. The container yard consisted approximately of 8.5 hectares of articulated concrete bricks. 

The first phase of the quay wall extension was completed in 2010.  The quay wall then measured 638 meters long and had two berthing positions.  The new extension was founded on concrete and steel pillars which were designed to operate ships with a maximum draft of 14 meters. At the same time TCP expanded the container yard by 18,5 hectares, totaling 28 paved hectares.

The terminal also has two warehouses with over 7,000 square meters under roof, where consolidation and deconsolidation activities, stripping, stuffing and other value-added logistics services are carried out.

The works to reclaim land from the sea have continued uninterruptedly.  The terminal currently has a total land surface of 33 hectares, 28 of which are paved: 15 with roller-compacted concrete, and 13 with articulated concrete bricks.


Since the beginning of the concession in 2001, and additional to the initial amount paid in the public auction for 80% of the shares of the corporation (USD 17.100.000), TCP has continued to make relevant investments in equipment and infrastructure:

  • Extension of the main quay wall (Muelle de Escala)
  • Expansion of the container yard
  • Acquisition of gantry cranes
  • Construction of warehouses with over 7,000 under-roof square meters for logistics activities
  • Construction of container cleaning facilities
  • Installation of plugs for refrigerated containers
  • Construction of container maintenance and repair facilities
  • And more

At the end of the year 2020 investment totaled approximately 200 million dollars.


The Specialized Container Terminal of the Port of Montevideo is the best equipped terminal in the East Coast of South America.  This accounts for its great productivity and operating efficiency, making it very attractive for the shipping lines to continue coming to Montevideo, with the consequent advantages for Uruguayan importers and exporters.

Since the first moment, the terminal was equipped with two gantry cranes capable to operate Panamax container carriers.  Straddle carriers were brought from Europe to handle horizontal container moves, TCP being the first, and, until this day, the only terminal in South America to use this type of equipment. The great advantage of this technology is its high productivity, allowing efficient ship operations and fast delivery of import containers to the gates.

In 2007 TCP incorporated two additional Post Panamax gantries with a reach of 17 container rows, and also acquired additional straddle carriers for most efficient ship operations.

In February 2010 4 new Super Post Panamax gantry cranes with a reach of 22 container rows were brought from China, which were, at that time, the largest cranes in all of South America.

The terminal has adequate electric infrastructure to satisfy all the refrigerated containers in the country, and the electric supply is highly reliable.

The terminal also offers regular and IMO container washing and cleaning services in its certified facility with an effluent treatment plant.

Also, our workshop personnel inspect and repair (pre-trip inspection) most of the refrigerated containers used to export cargo from Southern Argentina and part of the reefers used to export cargo to Chile.

Protection and Security

The Terminal is ISPS certified.  ISPS is an international protocol concerning International Ship and Port Facility Security.  

TCP undergoes annual audits carried out by the Maritime Authority to review the latest innovations and better practices.

All personnel involved in Protection and Security are ISPS graduates, and holders of other ISO certificates related to Information Security, Logistics, Emergency Response, etc.; their work is supervised by a Certified Protection Professional from ASIS International.

All the individuals, operations and goods within the terminal are protected and monitored 24/7 with adequate means and professional services.

Before entering the Terminal all individuals and vehicles must send their name and information to tcp.accesos@katoennatie.com.uy to be registered, or otherwise register via a Port Authority (ANP) Work Order.

Visitors must always have a contact person to be their host and responsible for their stay in the terminal, visit, work or operation.

Before visiting the terminal please kindly read our Welcoming Brochure, which contains important information about circulation of machinery and vehicles and dangerous areas within the terminal. You may request this brochure at the entry gate before coming in.
The use of Personal Protection Elements is required during the whole time you remain in the terminal. If you did not bring your own, when you check in at the gate you will be given a safety vest and a helmet, which you will return on your way out.

Every package, backpack, handbag, etc. brought into the terminal must be inspected. There are lockers at the entrance if you wish to leave them there.

Although you may receive or make telephone calls, you cannot use your cell phone while driving and you cannot take photos, videos or any other type of recordings.

• Our protection team has the authority to request you to leave the terminal and/or to deny you access to the terminal for a certain period of time or permanently.
• Our team keeps a register of infractions and incidents which may be shared with the corresponding authorities in case of recidivism or gravity.
• You must supply the following information in order to obtain ANP passes to enter the port, or to coordinate filming or photographic events in TCP:
– Photo or scan of car(s) license(s) in which you will enter the port and terminal.
– Insurance policy number, date of expiration, and issuing company.
– List of equipment to be brought to the terminal.
Please contact our Access Office (tcp.accesos@katoennatie.com.uy) or call 29158556 ext. 2218 for more information.
• For educational or institutional visits please contact Fernando.Correa@katoennatie com uy.
For commercial visits please contact Gonzalo.Hontou@katoennatie com uy.

Vehicle access is restricted to those involved in the operation or needed in the terminal.

When authorized to enter, please use the designated parking areas which will be pointed out to you, and respect all traffic signs. Please remember that the machines always have the right of way. Drive slowly and carefully and keep an eye on the machines working around you.

Your car will be inspected before entering the terminal. Please report to the guard any tools or uncommon objects you may have in your car to avoid problems when exiting the terminal.

TCP’s visitor parking area is just in front of the Access Office; you can park there during your stay in the terminal.

After registering at the Access Office you may take the terminal bus, which stops at all the departments during the terminal’s working hours.

At all the bus stops you have a roof where you can protect yourself from the weather while waiting for the bus. You can also walk along the pedestrian paths, which are duly marked and safe.

Tariffs And Conditions

SIC User

If you have any problems when accessing, please contact ict.uruguay@katoennatie.com.uy

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