The expansion of the Panama Canal provides a huge opportunity for the nation's port terminals, which now not only offer clients the benefits of a wider canal, but also rapid road and rail connections between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), one of three terminals in the Port of Colon, is located at the Atlantic entrance to the canal and alongside the Free Zone of Colon (FZC). In an effort to capitalize on the new opportunity, MIT has invested $800 million to improve infrastructure, equipment and technology.
"We expanded our operating capacity in 2016, and today we can move 3.5 million TEUs per year," Juan Carlos Croston, the terminal's commercial vice president, told Latin Trade. At present, the port is handling 1.9 million TEUs per year. Of those, 83% is cargo in transit and 17% is local, including cargo destined for the FZC. "This means we still have room to grow," he added. TEU stands for-twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit, a measure of a ship's cargo capacity.
MIT boasts very high service indicators for its service to carriers as well as for time needed to process documents. It also offers clients permanent visibility of the handling process, with cameras located at key points to enable real time monitoring from the...