In the News from Panama

Panama Developing as ‘Logistics Hub of Americas’

A 120-hectare container terminal project is moving forward on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, another key component in developing Panama City as the “Logistics Hub of the Americas.”

The Panama Canal Authority has issued a call for proposals to “design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain” the container terminal, which will be located near Corozal. When completed the project will be able to handle more than 5 million shipping containers, The Maritime Executive reports.

The project, the Corozal Container Terminal, will be developed in two phases and include a 2,000-linear-meter dock, the container yard, offices and warehouse facilities. The terminal will be developed as a “green port,” with standards set to minimize pollution, the Canal Authority says.

The land is owned by the Panama Canal. Four companies have been approved to bid on the project, according to news reports: APM Terminals B.V. (The Netherlands); PSA International Pte., Ltd. (Singapore), Terminal Link (France); and Terminal Investment Limited, S.A. (The Netherlands). The four port operators bidding on the project have until February to submit proposals for the 20-year concession, The Maritime Executive reports.

In many ways, this fits Panama’s development as a western version of Dubai. Like Dubai, Panama City is a fast-growing city of skyscrapers with strong international ties. And one of the key drivers of growth in Dubai is trade, as the emirate attempts to position itself as the “logistics hub of the Middle East.”

The Panama Canal gives Panama a natural advantage as the center for trade in the region. But developing as a logistics hub requires an additional infrastructure investment to provide the modern facilities for distribution and storage essential to the international business community.

The Corozal project illustrates the scope and ambition of Panama’s plans, as well as the resolve of the Government to make these plans a reality Every one of these port projects will boost the economy and translate into more jobs and more people buying and renting homes in Panama.