Logistics Development: What Investment is Needed?

Investment in the construction of new ports is essential for a country like Panama, whose economy depends heavily on the logistics sector, to continue to compete globally in the coming years.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Since nearly one third of Panama's Gross Domestic Product is created by the logistics sector, the development of this productive activity is of great importance for the country.

See "Logistics: Can Competitiveness Be Restored?"

Panama's Port System is currently made up of 41 ports. Of these terminals, 22 are managed by the Panama Maritime Authority and 19 are operated by private companies that develop their activities under the supervision of the General Directorate of Ports and Auxiliary Maritime Industries (Direccion General de Puertos e Industrias Marítimas Auxiliares).

Regarding the investments, the sector needs to continue competing, Olmedo Estrada, former president of the National Association of Economists, told Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... the construction of a multimodal mega port in Aguadulce is of great importance for the country since its location will help to better distribute cargo to nearby provinces".

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For this project that has been announced for several years, there is a bill in the National Assembly, which proposes the construction of a multimodal mega port in Aguadulce.

For Nicolas Vukelja, president of the Panama Maritime Chamber, the construction of the port of Aguadulce "... would help in logistics because many products that have to be transported to Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro and Veraguas are unloaded in the ports located in Balboa and Cristobal, which generates a high cost in transportation. This speeds up the delivery times of the merchandise and would lengthen the life of the product being transported."

Investment in more sophisticated equipment, the preparation of human capital for the generation of knowledge and coordinated decision making between the government and companies, are other challenges that the Panamanian logistics sector must face.

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More on this topic

Logistics: Business Stolen from Panama?

February 2019

Because Colombian ports have a lower operating cost base than Panamanians, the South American country competes to appropriate the logistics business in the region.

Until a while ago, Panama led the logistics operations in the region, however, there are some signs that indicate that this situation could be changing, since the growth in the movement of maritime cargo in the country has reported a slowdown in recent years.

Logistics: Can Competitiveness Be Restored?

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Investing in infrastructure that improves the connection between its main ports is one of the most determining factors for Panama to recover the competitiveness that is beginning to lose regionally and globally.

The Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP) presented its strategy "Maritime Vision Country 2019-2024", in which it analyzes that although the Canal was expanded and remains competitive at the port level in the region, the country needs to improve in terms of institutionality, human resources, infrastructure, processes and technology, to continue giving tools to the logistics sector to continue its development.

Panama: A Logistics Plan for Chiriqui

October 2015

In January 2016 the results of a study will determine whether it is feasible to build multimodal ports in Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui and develop a logistic plan for the region.

The Maritime Authority of Panama explained that the feasibility study is being developed by Nathan Associates, which will have to deliver the results in January 2016.

Panama: Multimodal Port in Aguadulce for $2.2 billion

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A Venezuelan company is undertaking processes with the Panama Maritime Authority for the award of the new port of Aguadulce, in the district of Barrios Unidos.

The Venezuelan-born company is responsible for the design, construction and operation of the new port. According to the president of the company, Edison Sanchez, not only will they build a bulk carrier and container port, there will also be services such as a cruise and oil port, as there will be tankers to store fuel.