Shipping analyst Drewry Maritime Research says it expects transhipment activity through Panama to grow strongly once the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed, according to www.fruitnet.com, an online fruit news source. The expansion project, which is due to be completed next year, will enable 14,000 TEU vessels to pass through the canal, increasing demand for transhipment options.
Drewry is forecasting a double-digit jump in transhipment activity for 2016 and annual growth of 5 per cent thereafter, leading to Panama Pacific coast throughput of 6m TEU by 2024. Transhipment activity in the wider Central America/Caribbean region is also set to grow as a result of the expansion, the company said.
According to Lloyds List, nearly all of the transhipment cargo moved through the canal is currently handled exclusively by Hutchison’s Balboa terminal, with a small volume passing through PSA’s Rodman terminal. In 2014, Drewry estimated that 3.4m TEUs of transhipment cargo was handled on the Pacific coast of the canal, with Hutchison responsible for 3.2m TEU and PSA 230,000 TEU.
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