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Panama Canal Ops - Post Expansion Inauguration


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Record transit price for Canal crossing

Posted on June 30, 2016 in Panama

Inaugural ship's price record broken
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A  CONTAINER SHIP flying the Hong Kong flag will pay the highest everPanama Canal  transit fee  when it passes through the new locks on Friday July 2.

“MOL Benefactor” will pay $829 468,   breaking the record set by the ship “Cosco Shipping Panama”  which inaugurated the new locks and  paid $ 575,545

“This vessel 337 meters long (long) and 48 meters wide will  transit through the new locks in a north direction, ie entering  through the locks of Cocolí in the Pacific, Friday July 1, to Clear Water locks on the Atlantic, “says a statement from the  Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

To date nine ships have passed through the new locks, including the inaugural transit.

The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), ship  Lycaste Peace, of the  Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, became on Monday the first LPG transit of the Canal.

174 ships have registered for transit through the newly opened locks, of which 166 remain to move.


Edited by Moderator_02
edited title to make it a bit more general
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Due to copyright restrictions, I cannot provide the full text of this article. The title pretty much says it all, but if you wish to read the full article, then click on the hotlink at the bottom of this posting.


MOL Benefactor pays record fee of $841,000 to transit expanded Panama Canal


Edited by Bud
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But then again, here is another article that is not constrained by copyright on this same record breaking transit fee.

I find it interesting that two different sources provide different amounts for the transit fee for the same shipment - close but not exactly the same. What why?


New Canal toll record

Posted on July 8, 2016 in Panama, Panama

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THE RECORD toll  for  a ship transiting the Panama Canal was broken on Friday, July 8, only a week after the previous record high.

The containership Mol Beyond paid a new record toll of $837,203 to the Canal Authority.

The previous record paid for a vessel was the containership Mol Benefactor, which paid $829,468 a week ago.

To date, 18 post-panamax vessels have used the expanded locks since they opened at the end of June. There are 156 reservations for the coming months.

Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano made the announcement during a forum organized by the City of Knowledge and the Maritime University of Panama on the expansion of the Panama Canal.


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Major Canal user declares bankruptcy

Posted on September 2, 2016 in Panama, Panama, World

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THE LARGEST bankruptcy in the history of the shipping industry has been filed by a South Korean shipping company, a major customer of the Panama Canal.

The move came after creditor banks decided not to give financial support to keep Hanjin Shipping. afloat.
The company, considered #7 in global shipping and a regular user of the  canal has facws financial problms for several months.
Hanjin Shipping accounts for 1.2% of transits through the Canal, and 2.7% of revenue received by the Cana Authoity (ACP)
Korea Development Bank (KDB), the public bank that led the negotiations on behalf of the creditors announced that it will end its support for Hanjin Shipping from September 4, according to El Economista.
The company had submitted a self-rescue plan, including  the support of banks the backing of creditors and the possibility that Korean Air, one of the strongest units of the South Korean group, make a new purchase of shares.
Hanjin operated nearly 100 vessels with a capacity of 20,000 to 25,000 TEUs or containers of 20 feet long.

The bankruptcy of the company will force a charge redistribution and routes in the maritime market. Hanjin Shipping was in the register of the expanded Canal  as transit number 100 on Sunday August 14 with  the ship Hanjin Xiamen.


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Canal fallout from shipper bankruptcy

Posted on September 6, 2016 in Panama

The last Hanjin vessel to transit the Canal
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THE EUPHORIA  generated by the opening of the Panama Canal expansion  has been muted by the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh  largest shipping company.

The country is   bracing for the fallout from the demise of Hanjin Shipping, a  major user of the Canal.

Hanjin represents 1.2 percent of the transits through the Panama Canal. In addition to impacting the Canal revenues, the bankruptcy will also impact Panama’s ports and maritime service providers, and down the line the money the Canal Authority (ACP) pumps into the government’s coffers, and could lead to some revisions to the Finance Ministry’s rosy projections

Some 45 ships of the 100 owned by Hanjin, mostly container ships, are located in different parts of the world.

They have lost access to international ports after declaring the suspension of payments.

After asking for bankruptcy protection, Hanjin stopped accepting new orders and almost all of its assets were frozen.

The Guardian newspaper reported that the company will not be allowed to upload or download containers until they show they can pay dock workers and other fees.

 Government bail out
As a measure to avoid the impact on South Korean exports, the government of that country announced that it will spend $57 million to pay 457 contractors of the company.

This is expected to help continue the flow of electronic and household appliances manufacturing in that country.

The South Korean government also created a working group to examine the effect on South Korean exports.

The bankruptcy is an additional blow to South Korea’s image, coming within days of the recall of Samsung’s lastest Galaxy smartphone.


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Can you imagine 8,500 vehicles on one ship??? That seems like a "wow" to my way of thinking.



World’s biggest car carrier transits canal

Posted on September 8, 2016 in Panama, Panama

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THE WORLD’s biggest  vehicle  carrier vessel  began its transit of the Panama Canal at 7.21 am at Cocoli  on Thursday September 8.

The  Hoegh Target, sailing under the Norwegian flag, was built in 2015 specifically to allow it to pass through the new expanded locks.

The ship, which began its journey in Japan, has a width of 36.5 meters and can carry 8,500 vehicles, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported.

Jorge Luis Quijano, director of the  Authority, said the ship  which began its voyage in Japan, came  from Mazatlan, Mexico, and is heading for  Alabama, United States.

The new locks were inaugurated on June 26.


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Port traffic drops 12.4 percent

Wilfredo Jordán 13 sep 2016 - 07:49h

The Panamanian port system, composed of six ports, mobilized 3.5 millions containers between January and July, a decrease of 12.4 percent as compared to the same period of 2015.

The fall is attributed in part to the economic decline around the world, particularly in the countries of the region, but also to the lack of port facilities on the Pacific side of the country.

"Loads are going to other transfer centers or shipping companies that are taking merchandise from Asia directly to South American countries," said the President of the Chamber of Shipping Rommel Troetsch.

Troetsch said more port development is needed along the Pacific coast, and added that the Corazol port project would be one way to address this shortage.


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Canal and ports income falling

Posted on November 24, 2016 in Panama

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INCOME from ships transiting the Canal and the movement of cargos in the country’s ports  dropped from January to September 2016.

 The figures in  the report of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) are in contrast to the report of the Canal Authority (ACP) which registered the third highest annual tonnage of its history in fiscal year 2016, (October 12015 to September 30 2016) when  13,114  ships, including  238 Post Panamax .passed through.

‘Despite the deceleration of the international maritime trade during last year, we have registered one of the highest annual tonnages since the opening of the original canal 102 years ago’, said ACP administrator Jorge Luis Quijano in Oct.

“This reinforces the continuous strategic importance of the route and the increasing value that recent investments in the Canal will bring to the maritime industry”, he said.

Despite that success, the  INEC report  says that , in the first nine months of the year, there was a fall of 6.6 percent in the transits compared to the same period of 2015, and the volume of the cargoes fell proportionately.

of the Business Section of Panama ON, and Publisher of Panama Business News.

From  January-September, revenues from tolls in the Channel were $1,427 760 000, 3.7 percent less than a similar period the previous year, while merchandise transferred was 3.3 percent points less, according to INEC.

The situation was most critical for the national ports system that saw a cut by 12,380.000 in  the report of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC)  metric tons handled, mainly containers and bulk cargo.


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Panama Canal widening brings new headaches for Panamax owners

Monday, 28 Nov 2016 | 12:15 AM ETCNBC.com
Johan Ordonez | AFP | Getty Images

Container ships less than a decade old are potentially on the block for scrap value as a widening of the Panama Canal earlier this year plays havoc with a market already under strain from a crash in freight rates.

An expanded Panama Canal opened in June to ships three times bigger than those previously called Panamax - a designation assigned to the biggest vessels that could pass through the locks cutting through the Central America isthmus. The makeover for the more than century-old shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans has already been giving the Suez Canal a run for the U.S. East Coast – Asia's shipping route of choice.

In response, many shipping firms are now weighing whether smaller ships are obsolete, as options to find new opportunities narrow and costs outweigh fees earned from operations, said shipping information provider VesselsValue.


Finding new uses for the classic Panamax ships has been difficult, including the ships actually being too big to ply container feeder routes, said VesselsValue associate director, Claudia Norrgren.

The development has sent the value of container ships down on-year, she said, with news rocking the industry of a 7-year-old container ship under negotiation for sale that was valued just above scrap value at $5.87 million, after its value fell 62 percent this year alone, according to VesselsValue.

The ship's owner, Singapore Exchange-listed Rickmers Maritime, said the sale had not been completed, but confirmed talks were ongoing, the trustee-manager said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange.

Even so, in September a 10-year-old Panamax-size ship was scrapped as overcapacity weighs on the industry. In 2011, the average age of container ships scrapped was 19 years old.

There have been 151 container ships scrapped this year to date, double the number in 2015 and more than the 134 scrapped in 2014, according to VesselsValue. There were 164 such ships scrapped in 2013.

Shippers that own Panamax vessels also face headwinds from sharp drops in rates for bulk commodity shipments in the past few years and an overall slowdown in global trade that has hit container traffic, sending freight rates to record lows.

As well as tanking freight rates, new environmental regulations requiring new installations and retrofitting may contribute to more young vessels getting scrapped.

"Many people in the industry think that lots of the overcapacity will be got rid of, as you will never make your money back from the expense to add all these systems on the vessel," said Norrgren.


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Container traffic down 11.8 percent

Posted on December 30, 2016 in Panama, World

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CONTAINER traffic through Panama fell 11.8 percent  between January and October this year.

The  5.1 million containers that  passed through the National Port System, was 689,000 containers less than in  the same period in 2015.

A report from the Comptroller  General  reveals that 10,871 vessels passed through the Panama Canal, 6.8 percent less than in 2015.

In toll revenues, the Panama Canal received $1.6 billion, 3.1 percent less than the previous year.

An analysis carried out by the Trade and Integration Sector of the Inter­American Development Bank (IADB) on world maritime transport warns that:

“The industry faces overcapacity and a sharp fall in freight rates. Bankruptcies ­ such as Hanjin Shipping ­ and the consolidation of the shipping industry in a few companies have reduced competition in the maritime

services market, in fact the new groupings will account for almost 75 percent of the global market,”

By the middle of this year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reduced its forecast of world trade expansion to 1.7 percent from 2.8 percent. It also reduced its 2017 forecast to between 1.8 percent and 3.1 percent, from a previous projection of 3.6 percent


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Panama Canal Sets Back-to-Back-to-Back Tonnage Records


Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal set yet another daily tonnage record in February 2017 with a total of 1,180 vessel transits totaling 1.18 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS).

The previous record was established the month prior in January 2017 when the Canal recorded a daily tonnage average of 1.16 PC/UMS. The daily tonnage average accounts for vessels transiting through both the original and expanded locks.

February is the third-consecutive record-breaking month for the Panama Canal. In December 2016 and January 2017, the waterway set monthly tonnage records after transiting 35.4 million PC/UMS and 36.1 million PC/UMS, respectively.

“These records are evidence of the maritime industry’s growing adoption of the Expanded Canal,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “As the new lane continues to reshape global maritime trade and its true impact becomes more and more apparent, we will continue to offer new growth opportunities to our customers and cargo destinations around the world.”

Approximately 850 Neopanamax vessels have transited the new locks in the first eight months since their inauguration in June 2016, according to the Panama Canal Authority. In fact 53 percent of all containerized cargo through the waterway is now transported through the new locks. Eleven new liner services have been also rerouted, with this number expected to increase.

In addition, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, as well as bulk carriers, tankers and vehicle carriers have transited the Expanded Canal since it was operational in June 2016.

In April 2017, the first Neopanamax cruise ship, capable of carrying up to 4,000 passengers, will transit the new locks.



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Expanded Canal marks 1,000th transit


THE CONTAINER ship  MSC Anzu, from the Mediterranean Shipping Company on Sunday March 19, became   the thousandth   vessel to transit the  expanded canal.

The ship,  built in 2015, measures 299.98 meters Long, 48.23 meters wide, and has a carrying capacity of 9,008 TEU (container  unit 20 feet long).

“This transit is a new sign of success, marking the remarkable impact of the expanded Canal in the industry,” Said waterway administrator, Jorge Luis Quijano.

By March 2017, the average number of neopanamax ships transiting the new lane per day is 5.9, says the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The container ship segment represents more than half of the transits through the expanded Canal, which began operating in June last year.

Another notable segment has been liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels. On average 5.2 LNG vessels have transited the Panama Canal each week, above the initial expectations of one a week.

One weekly.

The MSC Anzu container ship is part of the route between Europe, the United States and the west coast of South America, in a consolidated service last year to take advantage of the benefits of the expanded channel.



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Panama Canal to launch state-of-the-art vessel scheduling and maritime resources management system

March 15, 2017
São Paulo, Brazil
Quintiq, a Dassault Systèmes brand and global leader in supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O), announced today that its software has been selected by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to plan, schedule and optimize all vessels transit operations through the Canal to reduce costs, improve safety and increase overall efficiency and reliability.

“For more than a century, the Panama Canal has enjoyed a proud legacy of innovation,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “This system will help carry that legacy forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade.”

The Quintiq solution will transform how the Panama Canal plans and schedules transit operations. For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all of its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers. Improved situational awareness and data can inform better decision-making, which in turn will help mitigate operational risk. Further, Quintiq will help reduce costs by optimizing the way in which the Canal plans and programs its resources.

Canal customers will benefit as well. The Quintiq solution will impact shippers looking to transit the waterway by shortening vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route.

The decision to adopt Quintiq was simple. Following the successful opening of the Expansion last year, the Canal has experienced a surge in cargo and transits by larger Neopanamax vessels and in fact, has set several monthly tonnage records already. At times, the influx in activity has called for additional resources to ensure that the Canal’s high performance and safety standards are met. However, once implemented, the new solution will enable the Canal to manage this greater demand and capacity as efficiently as possible.

”Using advanced modeling language, we’ll be able to leverage path optimization algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimize scheduling and resource utilization,” said Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems. “Simply put, the technology is best in class and we’re excited to work with our partners at Quintiq to bring it to bear for the Canal and its customers.”

According to Camilo Gaviria, Director of Quintiq Latin America: “The Panama Canal’s planning puzzle gives us the opportunity to prove how Quintiq’s record-breaking optimization technology can help recover business value. High efficiency is critical to the Canal’s operations and a more streamlined planning process will ultimately enable it to offer its customers a significantly improved level of service.”

Rob van Egmond, Quintiq CEO, commented: “We are honored to have been selected by ACP as its planning system. We are confident that the Quintiq solution will help the Panama Canal achieve greater profits and help many more ships transit the Canal in the coming years.”

Quintiq will be fully integrated into Canal operations over the course of the next two years. The module responsible for managing the Canal’s vessel scheduling is expected to be operational by the end of their[RT1]  fiscal year [MA2] on September 2017.

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal is run by the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP's website pancanal.com or follow ACP on Twitter @thepanamacanal.

About Quintiq
Every business has its supply chain planning puzzles. Some of those puzzles are large, some are complex and some seem impossible to solve. Since 1997, Quintiq has been solving each of those puzzles using a single supply chain planning and optimization software. Today, approximately 12,000 users in over 80 countries rely on Quintiq software to plan and optimize workforces, logistics and production. Quintiq is part of Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) and has headquarters in the Netherlands and the USA, and offices around the world.

For more information, visit quintiq.com or follow Quintiq on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn and YouTube.


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Moderator comment: MM&P in the below title stands for "masters, mates, and pilots". MM&P is an international organization of professionals in maritime trades.



MM&P: Tug shortage hits Panama Canal transit numbers

fedcd9a88317fddd72cbe2a66120a390_L.jpg Picture posted on Twitter showed Neopanamax containership being inspected after becoming first ship to scrape a lock wall in the expanded Panama Canal







APRIL 21, 2017 — Only half of the projected number of ships per day are transiting through the new Panama Canal locks due to a lack of staff and infrastructure says the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P), a maritime union whose membership not only includes not only officers on U.S.-flag vessels but also mariners who work on tugs and other vessels in Panama.

East Coast Ports Invested Billions of Dollars in Improvements to Accommodate Panamax Ships -- Will the Panama Canal Authority Correct the Problem Before it Gets Worse?

MM&P say that the $9.4 billion investment by the Panama Canal Authority in a third set of locks was supposed to double the tonnage capacity of the Canal. However, according to the Authority's own transit records, the new locks are operating at about half their anticipated capacity, says MM&P. A shortage of tugs and trained crews has limited the Authority's ability to efficiently move the mega-ships through the locks. Instead of the anticipated 12 vessel transits per day through the expanded canal, only a maximum of six are being completed.

"This is like building a massive office tower without sufficient elevators to carry workers quickly to their offices," said Captain Don Marcus, the President of the MM&P.

The locks, designed in the early 1900s, and in continuous operation for more than a century, rely on locomotives moving on the side of the canal to tow vessels. In contrast, the new third set of locks serving mega-ships are moved by powerful tugboats in a very complicated and risky process that has been documented in a report by the insurance company Allianz.

It was estimated that the canal expansion would require 70 to 90 of these more powerful tugboats. In practice, however, only 33 of 46 tugboats owned by the Panama Canal Authority are operational – on a good day. Tug captains employed by the Authority report that many of the canal tugs are not suitable to handle large containerships. Eight tugs purchased from China are poor performers and not fully used, and at least 10 other tugs are not operational. The shortage of appropriate tugs is not entirely the Panama Canal Authority's fault. Harbor pilots worldwide report that Neopanamax vessels have limitations on their ability to maneuver which, when combined with their increased size, makes them extremely difficult to control. These factors have required a greater number of the more powerful tugs than was initially expected.

"You would think the Authority would address the problem and acquire more tugboats and train additional crews," said Marcus. "They have a canal that's working at half of its capacity and is not generating the projected revenues. As a stopgap, they have hired a Venezuelan company to provide additional tugboats."

The waters around the Panama Canal can be very tricky because of difficult currents and tight maneuvering into locks. The Neopanamax vessels and LNG carriers generally require at least two tugboats to move through the new locks. There isn't much room for error. In February, the Associated Press documented that many vessels were scraping the walls of the locks and wearing out the newly constructed walls and doors.

"The Authority is at a critical point," said Marcus. "Everyone acknowledges that there is a shortage of tugs and trained tugboat captains. In order for the new locks to be a success, the Authority must complete its investment in infrastructure and personnel. Bringing in a Venezuelan company to provide tugs and crews who lack sufficient training and English language skills, unlike crews employed by the canal authority, is not a solution. It will create greater problems. The Venezuelan company´s employees do not go through the rigorous 2.5-year training and certification process that is required for captains employed by the canal authority. And, for the first time in the canal's history you will have these sensitive operations conducted by an outside Venezuelan company rather than direct employees of the Panama Canal authority, thus creating safety and security questions."

Added Marcus, "Ports in the U.S. and as far away as the U.K. have made investments based on the canal expansion. The canal is of vital strategic importance and is critical to trade. The Panama Canal Authority must live up to its commitments, acquire additional tugs and train and hire Panamanian personnel to operate them. The Canal administration needs to take these actions now."

In the United States, ports on the Atlantic coast such as Savannah, Jacksonville and New York have spent billions of dollars dredging harbors and raising bridges to accommodate the Neopanamax container ships. The Bayonne Bridge alone required an appropriation of $1.3 billion to raise that structure from 151 to 215 feet.

"The Panama Canal Authority needs to finish the job," said Marcus. "There will be no payoff for Panama nor for East Coast ports until the canal is running at full capacity. A promise was made 15 years ago. The Panamanian people and U.S. East Coast ports relied on that promise and spent billions of taxpayers' dollars. A few more dollars must be invested in tugs and personnel by the Panama Canal authority. This will guarantee the desired return on investment and advance world trade. Failure to promptly address the problem will bring adverse economic consequences to the United States and Panama."



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Largest ship transits Canal as forecast rate doubles

Posted on May 2, 2017 in PanamaPanama

THE  LARGEST vessel to ever navigate the  Panama Canal passed  through on Tuesday, May 2.

The Cosco  Development which has a capacity of 13,992 containers, is 366 meters long and 48.2 meters high.

The ship began its journey in Asia and will become the largest vessel to reach the east coast of the United States where it is scheduled to arrive  next week.

The vessel is part of the new OCEAN Alliance. The alliance includes China Cosco Shipping, Orient Overseas Container Lines, CMA CGM Group and Evergreen, which are among thelargest customers of the waterway by volume.

So far, the expanded Canal, which opened in June 2016 has received about 1,200 neopanamax ships, an average of 5.9 ships per day.

The initial forecast was for two to three daily transits  for the first year of opetations


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Disney Wonder first cruise ship through new locks


DISNEY WONDER   became the first cruise ship to pass through the expanded lock gates of the Panama Canal, on Saturday April 29.

The  new locks of the enlarged Canal  were inaugurated in June of last year.

Disney Wonder has a capacity of 2,713 passengers and was restored in late 2016.

The vessel entered Panama through the Agua Clara lock, in the province of Colón.



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First cruise ship through new locks paid $400,000

Disney World, carrying 2713 passengers

DISNEY WONDER, the first cruise ship to pass through the new widened locks of the Panama Canal on Saturday, April 29, paid $400,000 for the journey between the oceans.

With another 18 cruise ships already booked to transit the waterway for the 2016-17 cruise season and more expected during the coming weeks, the Canal Authority (ACP) is looking forward to a record-breaking year.



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Panama is the Commercial Gate to the Americas

visitor23-12_Page_12_Image_0001 small.jpg

This post is also available in: Spanish


Panama is the Commercial Gate to the Americas. Panama’s geographical position, the expanded Canal and its excellent airline connections are attracting more investors to the isthmus who see the country as the gateway of the Americas. The free zones and special economic areas offering tax benefits to companies have convinced many giants such as 3M, Procter and Gamble and Huawei to move their Central American offices here.


Panama is the Commercial Gate to the Americas: The expanded Canal is another attraction for investors.

Countries such as Czechoslovakia are opening honorary consulates with the idea of using Panama as a foothold from which to export their products to Central and South America. Many are choosing the Colón Free Zone, while other enterprises of a more scientific nature are finding a place in the City of Knowledge.

Fairs such as Expocomer give the opportunity to foreign investors to make contact with their Panamanian counterparts to do business and create partnerships that in the long run will benefit not only the country, but also the region.

PROINVEX, attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI), is a government initiative which seeks to attract investors. It manages a One-Stop-Shop Integrated Information System that allows investors to easily identify all the instruments that the National Government has available for Direct Foreign Investment.

Panama is ready to create new commercial links with willing partners who want to invest in the country and the region.



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