MATCH THE NEW CAPACITY

Panama 2017 | TRANSPORT & MARITIME | COLUMN

TBY talks to Rommel Troetsch, President, Cámara Marítima de Panamá, on the sector.

Rommel Troetsch

What opportunities does the canal expansion offer the local maritime sector?

If the rest of the country and the maritime industry do not move forward to match the new capacity the canal brings to the world, then the country will not reap the benefits of the expansion. We have requested that the authorities enlarge the areas where vessels refuel to be able to cope with this new size demand in our anchorage areas in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Vessels also require repairs and spare parts and we are well positioned to provide spare parts here.

How would you evaluate the current status of the port network in the country?

Panama has two canals: a water canal and a dry canal from ocean to ocean, which today comprises two container ports in the Pacific and three in the Atlantic that are connected by rail and highway. We have to increase the capacity of the dry canal. Corozal will be a key player in increasing the capacity of the dry canal and a game changer of Panama ports' transshipment Industry. Today, we offer six container berths in the Pacific and about 12 to 13 in the Atlantic; we need to provide a more balanced offering to the market.*