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Singapore's PSA International has plans for Panama and Latin America

SINGAPORE global container terminal operator PSA International is confident that Latin American is the land of the future, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

Singapore's PSA International has plans for Panama and Latin America
13 August 2015 - 21:49
Singapore's PSA International has plans for Panama and Latin America

SINGAPORE global container terminal operator PSA International is confident that Latin American is the land of the future, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

"Increased consumption is likely to lead to more transshipment and destination cargoes," said Enno Koll, PSA's Panama-based Latin America chief. 

PSA Panama International Terminal on the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal is going ahead with a US$400 million expansion that will grow its capacity to two million TEU by increasing berth length to 1,140 metres from 340 metres today and purchase of eight quay cranes ready to handle 18,000-TEU ships. 

"From our experience, we see a positive link between bigger ships and increased transshipment," he said. 

"Worldwide, the number of container voyages in which a box is transshipped at least once has increased significantly," said Mr Koll.

"The formation of shipping line alliances accelerates this trend, as partners try to optimise their shipping routes and align their hubs where possible.

"But transshipment is competitive in nature and it can happen anywhere outside of Panama. Panama needs to promote itself and make transshipment attractive," said Mr Koll. 

"As an example, Panama could leverage the canal to encourage transshipment at its ports. This would be unique to Panama and could help boost the transshipment of containers in Panama," Mr Koll said.

With the opening of the expanded Panama Canal less than 10 months away, was a game changer when 13,000 TEUers transited the waterway. 

"We see certain countries on the west coast of Latin America still enjoying healthy GDP growth and this has a positive knock on effect on container volumes," he said. 

"Good economic growth which engenders higher disposable incomes has also contributed to increased imports from Asia using containers, which are often transshipped on the Pacific side of Panama," he said.

PSA operates the PSA Panama International Terminal, is a partner in Exolgan Container Terminal in Argentina and is building in a JV with ICTSI the SPIA-Aguadulce terminal, in the bay of Buenaventura on the Colombian Pacific coast.

"Exolgan Container Terminal is doing well. We have upgraded the cranes and berths to handle 10,000-TEU vessels, increased the yard space and implemented a new Terminal Operating System (TOS). While the economic situation in the country looks set to remain challenging for 2015, we have a positive outlook for 2016," Mr Koll said.

"Beyond the Exolgan terminal, we operate Exologistica, which is a key logistics operator in Argentina; and LPI, which offers over 170,000 cubic metres of warehouse space. We follow the cargo along the supply chain and provide a one-stop-shop for the importers and exporters," he said.

In Buenaventura, the first phase of SPIA-Aguadulce terminal will have a 600-metre berth, four super postpanamax cranes with 23 rows outreach and 14.5 metres alongside, able to dock postpanamax services covering the west coast of South America. As of now, 10,000-TEUers call at Buenaventura.

SPIA-Aguadulce will be ready for operations in the first quarter of 2016 with a capacity of 600,000 TEU, sustained by a total investment of around US$500 million. 

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