TRENCAR (Trenes del Caribe, S.A.S.) is looking to become the first private railway company in Colombia to offer a secure and cost effective alternative of transporting cargo, connecting the industrial and commercial production sources with the seaports in the Caribbean Coast. In the long term we are looking to transport cargo in other local railways and future integration with our neighbor countries.

Colombia International Economic Potential

Colombia has great international economic potential that have attracted international companies to operate in the country. With the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with USA approved on 2011 and many other regional and worldwide government agreements, we find that increasing Colombia’s railway transporting capacity is a great business.

Strategic Partners

Trencar has national and international strategic partners related to the international trade business, ground, river, and maritime transportation, locomotive and railroad equipment manufacturer, warehousing, etc. Trencar is also negotiating with the Florida East Coast Railway to effectively connect and distribute cargo throughout the United States of America.

Trencar Business Plan

In order to act as an authorized cargo transporter in Colombia’s railways, Trencar obtained the official license issued by Colombia’s Transportation Ministry. Trencar contracted the firm Valor & Estrategia that developed an operating and financial model; and in association with AE Ingenieria developed a operating plan suited to the specific conditions of the railway between La Dorada, Caldas and the Santa Marta Seaport. Trencar is also evaluating the cargo transporting to other ports in the Atlantic coast. The financial and operating model includes cargo volumes, operating and administrative costs, the required Capex, and implementation time among other important factors to develop this business.

There are many facts that makes very interesting to support the Trencar project, investing and giving us your cargo loads. Some of them are shown below, such as Colombia strategic geolocation, its actual commodities transportation amounts and its potential to grow, the actual infrastructure and the projected improvements to its roads, highways, and ports, the fact that rail transportation is safer and more economic than other ground transportation methods.



trencar-investors-5 Population (2004): 45,325,261 inhabitants (71% urban, 28% rural)
• Capital: Bogotá, 7 million inhabitants
• Climate: Tropical (climate based on altitude)
• Official Language: Spanish
Currency (August 2012): Peso (COP vs. US$ 1.820 =US$ 1)
GDP (current prices 2011): US $333.155 billion
GDP per capita (2011): US $7,107



Colombia is located in South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama. Its geographical location makes Colombia a strategic trading location connecting South America with Central and North America, and Europe.

Transportation Facts

Colombia Railways

COLOMBIA: As part of a strategy to remove damaging heavy freight traffic from the roads, the government has awarded contracts for rehabilitation of two sections of the 914 mm gauge rail network which have been out of use since the 1980s.

Work by local contractors to return the lines to a usable condition is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete at a cost of US$100m. This is to be funded by the government, which intends to award an infrastructure management concession. Freight trains would use the network on an open access basis under commercial terms.

The initial focus is on two routes. One runs for 750 km from La Dorada to Chiriguaná, the current southern limit of operations on the line from the port of Santa Marta which carries 30 million tons of coal a year. The second route runs for 300 km from Belencito to the capital Bogotá.

Traditionally there have been two main railroad concessions in Colombia:

Atlantic Railway concession to Fenoco S.A.

Pacific Railway concession to Ferrocarril del Oeste

Main Colombian Ports

Port of Cartagena:

Container specialized and aimed to become an important connection point. Today, the port handles 40% of all imports and 50% of exports of national containerized cargo. It works as a hub for 5 of the most important shipping companies in the world such as Hamburg Sud.

Port of Barranquilla:

Bulk cargo specialized. Its objective is to invest US$178 Million in two years. For 2012 they expect to move 4,500,000 containers. Almost 60% of the cargo produced by the Atlantic region is shipped through this port.

Port of Santa Marta:

Multipurpose port. It has recently expanded its containers capacity from 100.000 TEUS to 300.000 TEUS /Yr. One of its sub-terminals is specialized in bulk cargo imported from the U.S. which represents 24% of all  bulk cargo brought into the country.

This year they expect to import 1.8 Million Tons of cargo (dry and liquid bulk). They  also count on the reactivation of the rail transport to the port´s facilities which could enhance the port´s capacity of handling coal to over 9 Million Tons/Yr.

Port of Palermo:

The Port of Palermo is located by the Magdalena River right in front of Barranquilla. It´s a multi-purpose port which specializes in solid and liquid bulk, steel, and general cargo.

New Ports

Puerto Brisa (Coal and Multipurpose Port)

Located in Dibulla, a small town located in the Peninsula  of la Guajira.  However the project has been paused due to environmental issues.

Puerto Nuevo (Coal Port)

Located in Ciénaga, Magdalena, it´s being built by Prodeco, a multinational firm who exports coal. The port will have the capacity to export 20 million tons per year.

Pacific Coal

Located in Barranquilla, near Bocas de Ceniza (Mouth of the Magdalena River)

River Port

Located in Barranquilla km 17 of the Magdalena River. Specialized in dry bulk and coal and coke.

Super Puerto.

Located in Barranquilla a multi-purpose port.

Road and Highway Infrastructure Projects

Based on INVIAS (National Institute of Colombian Roads), there are 11,040 km of roads in the country out of which 8,206 km are paved roads, while the other 2,727 km are under the category of unpaved roads. It is the principal transportation system cargo in Colombia.

Rout of The Sun

“The Rout of  the Sun” (La Ruta del Sol), also known as Rout 45, is an important highway that connects the interior of the country with the Caribbean. It´s better known as “Troncal del Magdalena” since its runs along the Magdalena river valley. The actual highway connects La Dorada with Santa Marta.

The “Troncal del Magdalena” is approximately  949 kilometers long . It runs through various states.

Rout of The Sun 2

“The Route of the Sun 2” is projected to cover The Cune Intersection (in Villeta, Cundinamarca) and the current Troncal del Caribe. The highway is going to have two double lanes. Existing roads need to have maintenance done in order to maintain optimum conditions. 3 mayor tunnels are going to be constructed, 10 new bridges will shorten the travel time by  approximately 4 hours.

Last year the construction of the double lane began between El Cune to El Koran, located in the State of Cundinamarca up to San Roque, State of Cesar (North of Colombia).

It is projected to be finished by the end of 2016.

Autopista de las Americas

The government has allocated US $21,200 million for projects regarding roads and infrastructure which would become part of a mega project called “Autopista de las Americas” whose main objective is to connect over a unified highway the northern states of Colombia with Panama and Venezuela. Finally this road would connect with “the Ruta del Sol” mentioned previously.

Autopista de la Montaña

The Mountain´s Highway is a project focused on 4 important areas whose main purpose is to integrate southern states with the coast while another one will connect transversely the “Troncal del Occidente” with The “Troncal del Magdalena”.

River Transportation

Magdalena River is the biggest and principal river of Colombia flowing northward about 1,540 km. Along its course, the Magdalena River reaches 18 of 32 Colombian States serving as a natural border for 10 of those 18 states.

The Magdalena River serves as a transportation system for both freight and passengers. Small watercrafts can navigate throughout 450km starting from Gamarra to Barranquilla. However for bigger ships, 850 km of the river is considered navigable starting from Puerto Salgar, La Dorada. The cargo frequently shipped through this transportation system is fuel from Barrancabermeja to the Coast.

The Magdalena River starts from the Magdalena Lagoon located in the state of Huila. It travels 1.540 kilometer finally reaching its mouth or base level, the Caribbean Sea in Barranquilla.

In the base level a sterling or most commonly known as cutwater was built. The cutwater was used in order to extend the base level into the sea in order to maintain  a convenient draft so there could be a depth of water a ship or boat could safely navigate.

Its drainage basin covers a surface of 27.3 million hectares, which is 24% of the country's area and where 66% of its population lives. Also 86% of Colombia's gross domestic product is generated there. 

Colombia Cargo Facts

2011 Imports

2011 Export

Colombian Ports Imp-Exp by Commodities

General Cargo

It includes steel, pipes, project cargo, chemicals, etc.


Solid Bulk Cargo

It includes corn, soybean, soy meal, wheat, sorghum, etc.


Containers Cargo

Refrigerated and regular non-refrigerated.


Liquid Bulk Cargo

General liquid containers.

Coal Cargo by Port

Coal export potential is higher than port capacity. Coal is Colombian´s second most important export good after oil.