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Focus on Panama

Panama container ports volume up 12.4% Jan - Sept

Photo: CCT EVERGREEN'S COLON CONTAINER TERMINAL -.JPEG
Port activity in Panama grew 12.4% during the first nine months of the year to 6.39m teu, up from 5.68m teu in 2020.

Almost all terminals, apart from Cristobal on the Atlantic side and PSA-Panama, on the Pacific, posted positive results.

On the Atlantic side, Evergreen’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT) box volumes increased by 36% to 709,590 teu. “Between 2002 and 2007 the terminal had experienced similar annual growth rates…and at the current rate of throughput we could end up around 1m teu,” said CCT president Stephen Shaffer.

Manzanillo International Terminal-Panama (MIT) passed the 2m mark with 2.10m teu, up 8.4% compared to the same period in 2020. “We expect 2021 to continue with a positive trend, where we will grow from +3% to +7% when compared to 2020 volumes,” explained MIT’s general manager Stacy Hatfield.   

At Cristobal, administered by Hutchison’s Panama Ports Co (PPC), volumes decreased by 0.8% to 790,810 teu.

On the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, PPC’s Balboa also showed good results, growing by 24.8% to 1.77m teu, up from 1.42m teu the year before. “We expect to close 2021, 8% above 2020, and for the coming year, we expect to have similar volumes as those of 2021,” said PPC gm Jared Zebede.

PSA-Panama registered a small decrease of 1.4% to 903,223 teu. “For what goes of 2021 (September YTD) we are slightly above 975,000 teu which is in par with 2020. Something to be appreciated though is that in 2020 we grew a lot versus 2019 hence keeping that pace was certainly a difficult prediction to be made. FY 2021 is expected to be in the neighbourhoods of 1.2m teu which again is on par with 2020,” said Alessandro Cassinelli, PSA-Panama GM.

Panamanian ports will have another record year in 2021 as forecast clearly surpass the 7.7m teu registered the year before. Looking at recent port activity, Panama’s cargo volume has passed the 7m teu milestone in 2018 and kept growing constantly.

 

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