In the face of today’s challenging economic reality, it has become increasingly important for businesses to prepare themselves to manage change and anticipate opportunities. While the dynamism that is inherent in the shipping industry has constantly forced us to stay on our toes, the prevailing circumstances demand that we cultivate deeper foresight, broaden our vision and deploy more comprehensive and far-reaching strategies that will deliver successful outcomes in these difficult times.
In the eight years that have elapsed since the Panamanian government formally announced plans to expand the Panama Canal, several regional territories have advanced discussions and plans to position themselves to benefit from this significant development. Today finds many of the competing ports in these countries at different levels of preparedness; and with the completion of the expanded Panama Canal being revised from this year to late 2015, there is precious little time left to get things in order.
Widely regarded as a catalyst for tremendous commercial activity in the region, the Panama Canal expansion project promises to provide greater trading opportunities by facilitating the crossing of larger New Panamax ships between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When the new locks of the canal swing open, one of these vessels will be able to steer nearly 15,000 teu through the upgraded transoceanic waterway. This is three times the volume of cargo transported through the canal today.