Duarte Vivas & Asociados, C. A. (DVA) was incorporated in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977 by Andrés Duarte Vivas. The firm’s initial offerings were in the areas of commodity brokerage, representation of foreign companies, and consulting services.

Since its inception, bulk commodities have been at the core of DVA’s commercial activities. More than thirty years down the line, there are few international raw material markets in which DVA has not had  involvement. As the company grew, it shifted its efforts away from brokering, and towards trading, acting increasingly as a principal in international transactions. DVA has since acquired considerable experience in the sourcing, financing and supply chain management of base metals, coal, cement, grains, minerals, petroleum, petroleum products, steel, sugar and vegetable oils. Throughout this same period of time, DVA has also been involved in the commercial representation of foreign companies,  always keeping this second sector as an independent entity operating under the same roof.

In 1985, DVA manifested its long held desire to integrate vertically by entering the maritime shipping market. This was done through the establishment of two ship owning companies: Naviera Caribana, C. A. and Naviera Pacifico, C. A. For 16 years, The DVA group owned and operated a fleet of four vessels. This provided a platform for further involvement in maritime logistics and transportation, and became the first of a series of investments in key assets throughout the raw material supply chain.

In 1991, DVA –along with a conglomerate of Venezuelan investors- headed the successful bid for the management of an abandoned port in the Maracaibo bay, in Western Venezuela. Subsequently, the port of La Ceiba was rehabilitated and operated for a couple of years, before being sold off to Cementos Argos C.A.

In 1992, DVA increased its exposure to the shore based side of maritime logistics through its acquisition of well established ship agency Victor H. Selinger C.A. (founded in 1953 and senior member of BIMCO in Venezuela). Through this strategic acquisition, DVA was able to bring all aspects of port logistics and customs clearance in-house. Selinger has since become a source of invaluable synergies with DVA’s commodity trading activities. Today, the Selinger Group has offices in all major Venezuelan ports, offering services in the area of ship agency, customs clearance, stevedoring, stowing and land transport.

In 1998, The DVA group re-entered the terminal management business through its successful bid on a Venezuelan government tender for a 15 year lease on the commercial fishing port of Guïria. Petroleum services were added, and for 7 years the port operated as a support base for offshore drilling  operations as well as an industrial fishing terminal. Unfortunately, the port concession was terminated pre-maturely in 2006 due to a change in government policy.

In 2001, the DVA group acquired Almacén Terminal Santana (ATS), located inside Puerto Cabello, Venezuela’s largest port. The terminal’s facilities included a dedicated dock, significant storage facilities for both dry and liquid cargoes (namely, grains, vegetable oils and fertilizer), and in-house truck-weighing scales.  This same year, DVA entered into a joint venture to establish Cementos Elefante in Ecuador.  Cementos Elefante imported and distributed Chinese and Thai cement throughout Ecuador until 2005.

As an organization that prides itself on being nimble and flexible, DVA has entered into other ventures and projects that extend beyond the scope of its traditional business. Not one to shirk commercial opportunities when they present themselves, DVA has also been involved in the import and export of paper and pulp, heavy machinery, textiles and bank machinery. Additionally, The DVA Group has been involved in tolling operations, whereby –through partnerships with local industries– raw materials are imported into Venezuela, processed, and re-exported as finished or semi-finished products.