The new Panama Canal: It’s all about connectivity

The logistics capabilities of Panama can serve as the logistics hub of the Americas, said Alberto Aleman Zubieta, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority.

By ·

In 2014, the Panama Canal will celebrate its centennial. It will also celebrate the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, according to Alberto Aleman Zubieta, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority. 

The new locks, which are currently under construction, will expand the canal’s ability to handle ships nearly three times the size of current ships – an estimated 14,000 containers versus 5,000 container capacity today – and double the throughput capacity of the canal.

More importantly, Aleman said at Tuesday’s keynote address at MODEX 2012 in Atlanta, the expanded canal and the logistics capabilities of Panama can serve as the logistics hub of the Americas. “Panama is the only port with terminals in two oceans,” he said. “It is just 80 kilometers from ocean to ocean and we have more port cranes in Panama than Chile, Mexico and Brazil.”

In that sense, he added, the new canal is not so much about capacity, but connectivity.

“You can use Panama as a platform to connect the Americas and the Carribean,” he said. “That is important if you want to conquer those markets and expand your supply chain and your procurement capabilities.”

To take advantage of the new canal, Aleman added, the Unites States must think about investing in its transportation infrastructure, including expanded ports, new rail capacity and improvements in our highways. For instance, only the ports in Virginia and New York can presently handle the larger ships that will come through the canal.

“You must realize that you are in a globalized economy. If you do not do it, someone else will. If you don’t capture those markets, someone else will.”


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Improving Packaging: The Cost of Shipping Air is Going Up
Retailers and manufacturers that insist on using inefficient and sloppy packaging methods—oversized boxes, inefficient packaging, poorly constructed palletized contents—are paying for their mistakes in sharply higher freight rates. Pitt Ohio White Paper, Logistics White Paper, Dimensional Packaging
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo