Minas Gerais is a state in the Southeast Region that has a strategic geographic location in relation to its neighbors, making it a large corridor that connects different regions of the country. The state borders São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Bahia, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, in addition to being close to the Federal District.
The riches contained in the state and the need to explore all its economic potential require a robust logistical structure, capable of catalyzing good business for Minas Gerais.
Fernão Dias Highway (BR 381): It connects the metropolitan regions of Belo Horizonte and São Paulo, being one of the most important freight transport axes in all of Brazil. This highway cuts through the South of Minas, the main coffee producing region in the world, and which has important industrial parks.
BR-040 – Rio de Janeiro – Belo Horizonte – Brasília: With 1,148 km, 716 km of which in Minas Gerais territory, this important national highway crosses relevant industrial and agricultural centers, in addition to mineral extraction areas. It is the main access route to the historic cities of the state.
Rio-Bahia (BR 116): Connects the Northeast to the Southeast and South of the country. In Minas Gerais territory, it crosses the Zona da Mata and the valleys of the rivers Doce, Mucuri and Jequitinhonha.
BR 262: Connects the Espirito Santo port complex to the Midwest region of the country, the main grain-producing area in Brazil.
MG-050: State highway, with a total length of 406.7 km, connecting the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte to São Sebastião do Paraíso, a municipality close to the border with the state of São Paulo.
BR-050: Connects São Paulo to Brasília (Federal District) and crosses the Triângulo Mineiro region.
The government of Minas Gerais has a Road Concessions Program prepared by the State Secretariat for Infrastructure and Mobility (Seinfra), which was launched in May 2019 and seeks to attract investments to state road lots, generating jobs and boosting the development of the state. In 2021, a round of talks began to grant a network of 3,250 kilometers, covering about 120 municipalities and benefiting more than 5 million people.
The objective of the program is to offer technical, economic, and legal subsidies to promote and improve the quality of services without harming the public purse. Other important aspects of the program are the optimization of existing contracts, reimbursement to concessionaires providing services in force, improvement in the governance of public works, and the adoption of preventive measures for the conservation of works.
In Minas Gerais, there are 2,500 km of highways in operation, about 8% of the total existing in Brazil. These railways are operated by three companies, MRS Logística S/A, Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica S/A and Valor Logística – VLI.
MRS Logística S/A
MRS Logística is an extremely important railway operator for Minas Gerais. Going through the three main states of the Southeast: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais. In Minas, this line is one of the main ones in the State, going from the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte to the Zona da Mata, supplying several municipalities.
According to data from MRS Logística, 16% of the national rail fleet belongs to them, with more than 18 thousand wagons and 800 locomotives. There is a total of 1,643 km of lines that run through São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais, with the main products: containers, steel products, cement, bauxite, agricultural products, and coal.
Integrated Logistics Value – VLI
Operating long-distance trains, Valor Logística Integrada supports Vale S/A’s operations in Minas Gerais, on the Vitória-Minas Railroad. It has a length of 905 km, connecting the iron ore operations with the Port of Tubarão, in Espírito Santo. According to company data, around 135 million tons of goods are transported annually, with a variety of more than 60 different products, such as steel, coal, limestone, granite, and containers, among others.
Central Atlantic Railroad – FCA
It is one of the largest railway lines in Brazil, with 7,080 km in length. It covers the states of Minas Gerais, Goiás, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Sergipe, and the Federal District, connecting with the seaports of Rio de Janeiro, Vitória, Angra dos Reis and Salvador. Due to its wide extension, the railroad connects with several other rail networks, being one of the main connection points between the regions of Brazil, such as the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast. Among the main loads transported by this line, which is one of the main railways in Minas Gerais, are agricultural products, oil, cement, and grains.
The main airport in Minas Gerais was granted to the company BH Airport on November 22nd, 2013. The project to modernize, expand and maintain the Belo Horizonte International Airport foresees considerable investments for the 30-year concession period. BH Airport relies on the experience of its shareholders to transform the Airport into a true “airport city” that is truly ready for the world. Currently, the airport receives 22 million passengers per year, 26 boarding points, and 17 passenger inspection channels, in addition to having more than 40 direct destinations, making it the airport with the largest number of destinations in the northeast and southeast of Brazil.
It is the only Brazilian airport operating as an industrial airport, with more than 1 million m² destined for the industry. Its objective is to connect companies, customers, and suppliers in an agile, simple and secure way, ensuring high efficiency in the logistics chain and a better cost-benefit ratio to facilitate the entry of products into the market.
The capital of Minas Gerais also has Pampulha Airport, used for regional flights and executive aviation. This airport was granted to BH Airport in October 2021 and there is a forecast of BRL 151 million in improvements to the terminal over the 30 years.
Airports in the Interior of Minas Gerais
Minas Gerais also has several other airports that operate in the countryside of the state with regular air transport lines. Cities that have airports are Montes Claros, Uberlândia, Uberaba, Araxá, Patos de Minas, Poços de Caldas, Varginha, Pouso Alegre, Divinópolis, Juiz de Fora, São João Del Rei, Ipatinga, Governador Valadares and Diamantina.
As the state does not have a coastline, the presence of dry ports in Minas Gerais is important. The objective is to accelerate the customs clearance processes, together with the units of the Customs Industrial Logistic Center (CLIA) and the Special Area for Customs Clearance of Export (REDEX). These ports are located in the cities of Betim, Juiz de Fora, Pouso Alegre, Uberaba, Uberlândia and Varginha, as shown in the following map:
Connection with Sea Ports
Logistics operations in Minas Gerais are integrated with seaports in São Paulo – Port of Santos, Rio de Janeiro – Port of Açu, and Espírito Santo – Tubarão Complex.
Port of Santos
Considered the largest port complex in Latin America, it corresponds to almost a third of Brazilian trade. Managed by Companhia Docas do Estado de São Paulo (CODESP), it is located 70 km from the largest consumer and producer market in the country, Greater São Paulo.
The flow of cargo from the branches of MRS Logística and Ferrovia Centro Atlântica S/A (FCA) is carried out via rail to the complex, which is the largest exporter of coffee beans, soybeans, corn, automobiles, and industrialized products in general.
Port of Vitória
Located in the state of Espírito Santo, it is home to the Tubarão Complex, the largest pellet producer in the world, in addition to containing the largest rail yard in Latin America which, together with the eight pellet plants owned by Vale S/A, produces 20 million tons per annum. In addition, Tubarão Complex was designed with a concern with environmental aspects, investing R$ 700 million in environmental improvements and controls to reduce dust emissions, water consumption, and reuse of waste produced.
Port of Açu
A modern port-industry complex, Porto do Açu is one of the largest infrastructure complexes in the country, installed in São João da Barra, in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro. This port has ample potential to maximize the logistics operations of mining companies, both through the flow of production and through the importation of inputs and resources.
It has the third-largest iron ore terminal in Brazil, responsible for 25% of Brazilian oil exports. It built the largest thermal park in Latin America, houses the largest offshore support base in the world, and is already the third-largest national port in terms of cargo handling.
The port has an Export Processing Zone, which is ideal for serving industries such as metal mechanics, mining, ornamental rocks, petrochemicals, and agroindustry.
It is a world-class port for having partnerships with the Port of Antwerp International (PAI) in Europe, the Port of Houston in the United States, and the Port of Guangzhou in China.