Holdtrade Atlántico will provide rail freight service between the port of Santa Marta, on the Caribbean, and La Dorada (Caldas), which will be integrated into a multimodal service in a sustainable, efficient and competitive manner.

Holdtrade Atlántico’s winning sales strategy focuses on reducing logistics costs and offering a comprehensive “origin-destination” package that involves all the chain’s stakeholders. This will be complemented with added values such as: service regularity, price stability in the medium term, security, and integral traceability, among others.

Hodtrade Atlantico Logistics

Cargo Types

Initially, Holdtrade Atlántico will market its services for intermodal shipping containers and loose cargo, such as big bags, steel in rolls, steel profiles, pipe, etc.

Subsequently, service will be expanded to include grain.

In the future, the company will further expand service to include export oil and palm oil, and imported motor vehicles.

Value proposition to customers

In addition to offering a comprehensive service, the value offer includes attributes such as:

  •  Savings in logistics costs. The railway operation, by allowing greater volumes of cargo, generates economies of scale that can be passed on to the customer.
  • Consistency and punctuality in the service. The trains will have defined and clear schedules.
  • Medium-term price stability. Holdtrade Atlántico integrated service will provide sustainable tariffs over time, avoiding the uncertainty generated by price fluctuations.
  • Security. The terminals are fixed and known, which allows better monitoring and cargo tracking.

Cargo potential

Type of cargo per Port Zone (ton/year)

Through multimodal transport Holdtrade Atlantico will have access to Barranquilla and Cartagena, in addition to direct service to Santa Marta. Holdtrade Atlántico’s cargo forecast includes circa 2.0 million tons per year in Phase 1, which is less than 4% of the cargo imported today from Cartagena, Santa Marta and Barranquilla. The demand for efficient rail service is evident, as is the potential for growth.

Type of cargo per Port Zone (ton/year) 2017

Holdtrade Cargo Types

Holdtrade Atlantico cargo forecast involves circa of 2.0 millions tons per year in Phase 1, that is less than 4% of the cargo imported today from Cartagena, Santa Marta and Barranquilla.

Source: Superintendencia de Puertos y Transporte – Ministerio de Transporte


Holdtrade Atlántico will have four routes:

  1. By train between the Port of Santa Marta and La Dorada, connecting by road to Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Boyacá, Antioquia, Eje Cafetero, Tolima, Huila and Llanos Orientales.
  2. By train between the Port of Santa Marta and Gamarra, connecting by highway services to the departments of Santander and Norte de Santander.
  3. By river to and from Barranquilla and Cartagena through the Magdalena River via Gamarra, to a railroad connection to La Dorada and then by road to the interior of the country.
  4. By river to and from Barranquilla and Cartagena through the Magdalena River via Gamarra, to a railway connection to the Madgalena river valley.
Colombian Map of Roads and Railways

The vast majority of Colombia’s population and more than 90% of the country’s GDP is located in the interior of the country, including the Cundiboyacense plateau, Antioquia, the Coffee Region, the Cauca Valley and Santander. All these regions are far from the maritime ports not only in distance, but also and importantly as an effect of Colombia’s rugged terrain that hinders access to important production and consumption centers. The route that Holdtrade Atlántico is developing is the backbone of this area.

Holdtrade AtlanticoTrack Sections

Track sections

The railway line to be used between Santa Marta and La Dorada is narrow gauge (914mm) and consists of two sections:

  1. Fenoco Concession: stretching between Santa Marta and Chiriguaná, 245 km long, administered by Fenoco.
  2. Central Railway System: stretching between La Dorada and Chiriguaná, 522 km long, administered by an ANI contractor .

Trial train

Holdtrade Atlántico ran a trail train in October, 2016, traveling the entire distance between the port of Santa Marta and La Dorada, both southbound and northbound. This exercise was carried out successfully achieving the proposed objectives, which were:

  • To demonstrate the connectivity throughout the railway corridor.
  • Verify through a real operation the operations plans that our shareholders apply in the US and the UK.
  • Execute a successful multimodal operation with real cargo.
  • Send a clear message to the market that the railway is a viable alternative in Colombia.
  • Measure the reaction of communities along 767 km of railway.

The following firms participated in the trial train: OPL Carga, Argos, Cemex, Incubadora Santander (Huevos Kikes), Acepalma, Postobón, Trafigura, Gerdau / Diaco, Ternium and Proalco. With the special collaboration, the Port of Santa Marta, ANI, Fenoco and the British Embassy, as well as the presence of the main shipping companies CMA CGM, Maersk, Hamburg Sud, APL, Evergreen and Seaboard.

Both the operation of the trial train and its conclusions were presented to the Colombian government as part of the Colombian state visit to the United Kingdom in November 2016.