Central America has a plan to develop a land transportation system

Guatemala is the country that demands greater investment to reactivate the railway for the transportation of people and cargo.

Central America requires US$52 billion to develop the Regional Master Plan (PM) for Mobility and Logistics 2035, prepared by the Central American Integration System (SICA).

The plan, which would allow the region to save on the transfer of goods, has the support of experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The PM is a guide that defines vision, objectives and sectoral actions for the main modes of transport in the short, medium and long term.

  • It is structured around strategies to strengthen and modernize 11 strategic corridors.
  • They will be carried out in phases and levels, proposing financing and implementation mechanisms until 2035.
  • The necessary projects in each of the six countries are detailed to promote mobility and logistics on roads, ports, airports and border posts.

The study was carried out between November 2019 and June 2023, with various experts. Authorities from each nation intervened through the Sectoral Council of Transportation Ministers of Central America.

The document presents “a set of recommendations for the comprehensive improvement of mobility and logistics. It is expected to contribute to sustainable regional development within the framework of economic integration,” comments Onodera Seiichi, vice president of JICA.

Jica Plan

The infrastructure and logistics diagnosis presented by the PM allows regional priorities to be established. Some important issues to keep in mind.

  • Less than 50% of roads are paved. There are also 43 identified road sections that must be improved.
  • The Infrastructure is insufficient to maintain an adequate speed in the transfer of goods and people. Congestion in urban areas increases the cost and time of transportation.
  • Lack of integrated and effective security systems. Transporters are left in a highly vulnerable situation. Little development of road infrastructure projects with a territorial focus, designed to control access and protect the right of way.

Many of the problems recorded are common to other areas such as ports. Furthermore, the ports, which are insufficient, obsolete and unsafe, do not have integrated information on their status and/or their improvement or expansion plans.

In Central America there are 20 international airports. Each country has a main one that plays the role of base for cargo and passenger transportation. However, the sector suffers from a series of limitations. These problems are also observed in rail transport, border management and urban logistics.

Guatemala is the country that demands greater investment to reactivate the railway for the transportation of people and cargo. About US$8,800M is required.