A TEU is a "Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit," the unit of measurement for container-based traffic. Most containers are 20 feet or 40 feet long. Port manager Carlos Urriola attributes the higher volume to the growth of the construction industry in Panama, and added that growth is likely to continue.
The Panama Canal Authority predicts that by Dec. 10 it will receive technical and economic proposals from those interested in designing and building the third set of locks.
For the period January-May the Panamanian port system has moved 1.725 million TEUs, an increase of 9.5 percent over last year.
Some 300 thousand metric tons less than last year were imported at Port Quetzal.
Maria Isabel Fernandez, the executive director of the National Port Commission (CNP), said that the reduction in bulk solids and liquids (petroleum); however, the handling of containers grew 6% compared to 2007.
Cargo movement at ports rose only 10%, because other items such as containers and general cargo registered decreases.
Container cargo decreased 10.5% between January and May 2009 when compared to the same period of 2008, the largest drop among all port sectors. General cargo and 20 feet container movement also decreased, 3.3% and 3.7% respectively.
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