The business of logistics is in Panama's DNA. Because of its privileged geographic location, the isthmus has always been the epicenter of the flow of merchandise between oceans and continents. The recent expansions of the Panama Canal and the Tocumen airport have opened new opportunities that dozens of companies have used to offer their services from this logistics platform to expand and consolidate or broaden their investments.
One such company is Marpormad Group, an organization made up of five business units which work as independents but are coordinated in such a way as to offer a complete logistics chain in Venezuela, Panama and Miami, Francisco Noffra, with the Marketing Control office, told Latin Trade.
The transport agency moves merchandise to and from any part of the world by air, land, and sea. The multi-purpose small launch service has operating points in the ports of Cristobal, in the Caribbean, and Balboa, on the Pacific side, providing services needed by cargo ships. The shipping agency represents the ship in port and supports the crew in dealings with authorities. The storage service--which has cold chain capacity in the Colon Free Trade Zone--offers personalized service 24 hours a day; and the shipyard in Colon offers maintenance and repair services for ships.
In 2018 Maipormad Group will start up Panama's first center for building ships less than 55 feet long. The company also plans to expand into the provinces of Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui. "There are many potential clients in the interior of the country who don't know about our services, and the transport agency for ground travel that we offer is a good opportunity," said Noffra.
Another company whose growth prospects are maximized by the logistics hub is SeaLand which, with three years in business, offers cargo transport services in 29 countries, and covers most of the continent's ports. An affiliate of Maersk Group, it combines its business with that Group and its recent acquisition, Hamburg Sud, which has had a prominent presence in Latin America for more than a century.
Panama is essential for the development of SeaLand. "A large part of the portfolio of services in our network involves Panama directly or indirectly, and it is the way we connect shipments from countries like Chile, Peru, or Ecuador with the East Coast of the United States," said Ariel Frias Ducoudray, chief of online sales for SeaLand.
"From Panama we not only manage the shipping...