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Cargo volumes up 15.9% at Panama ports in January – May

Cargo volumes in Panamanian ports grew by 15.9% during January-May 2020, in spite of the country fighting against the spread of the Coronavirus.

According to the Panama Maritime Authority statistics, cargo volumes for the first five months of this year reached 3.26m teu compared to 2.78m teu the year before. Vehicles fell by 47% to 39,960 units during this period compared to 74,187 vehicles in January-May 2019.

Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT-Panama) moved 1.08m teu, up 18.2% while Panama Ports’ Pacific Terminal Balboa volumes increased by 9.5% to 807,7265 teu and its Atlantic terminal Cristobal cargo also grew by 18.1% to 475,804 teu.

PSA Panama International Terminal moved 516,091 teu with an increase of 32.3% compared to January-May 2019.  Evergreen’s Colon Container Terminal (CCT) volumes fell 4.2% to 293,899 teu and Bocas Fruit, a small fruit exporter port, grew by 69.9% to 49,838 teu.

“Ocean carriers’ network changes happen around April each year. In 2019, Maersk/Hamburg Sud, CMA CGM and Hapag Lloyd each went through network re-design as a result of the Eurosal service’s Hamburg Sud withdrawal. The changes resulted in the “creation” of around 400,000 teu per year of transshipment cargo that mostly benefitted Panama and Colombia (Cartagena),” says MIT’s VP of marketing Juan Carlos Croston.

“In the case of MIT, 2020 volume through May, has benefited from those 2019 changes. We do project a ‘very different’ 2H 2020 volume to be impacted by the economic downturn,” added Croston who is also president of the Caribbean Shipping Association.


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