PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 21, 2011 – In a move that further solidifies their commitment to partnership, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Tampa Port Authority (TPA) renewed a strategic alliance today.

The newly renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will increase cooperation, such as joint marketing, between the Panama Canal and the Port of Tampa. It will also seek to bolster trade along the “All-Water Route,” the route from Asia to the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal.

The two entities first signed an MOU in 2005, which was renewed in 2008. The latest agreement is renewable for an additional five years.

“Today’s MOU renewal with the Tampa Port Authority is an example of the ACP’s strategy in action to continually improve service for our customers, while promoting trade growth for Florida and Panama,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “We look forward to further cultivating this partnership in the years to come.”

In addition, the renewed agreement will also focus on the following areas:

  • Data Sharing to forecast future trade flows and market trends;
  • Market Studies Exchange that may benefit either party in future product development or business venture;
  • Sharing of Information Related to Modernization and Improvement projects that serve as a benefit to business and spur increased demand; and,
  • Technological Interchange of advanced technology capabilities and programs to spur cutting-edge initiatives in the shipping and maritime community.

“Renewing our partnership with the Panama Canal is an important element of our growth strategy as we continue to expand our container services, facilities and connectivity to major markets,” said Tampa Port Director Richard Wainio. “The latest phase of our terminal expansion is now complete and we are moving ahead with plans to quadruple capacity over the next few years. Construction of a new dedicated truck ramp connecting the Port and the Interstate highway system is well underway, as well as the Tampa Gateway Rail Terminal which will provide Florida’s first on-dock unit train capability.”

Over the last several years, the Tampa/Central Florida region has emerged as an important distribution center gateway. With a population of 8 million people, the Tampa-Orlando Interstate 4 corridor is the 9th largest economy in the country with a GDP of more than $272 billion.

While the TPA continues its terminal modernization, the Panama Canal’s expansion is well underway, with an expected completion in 2014. The $5.25 billion project includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.

About the Tampa Port Authority
The Port of Tampa is Florida’s largest port for cargo tonnage and one of the nation’s most diverse ports, handling a wide mix of bulk, breakbulk, and containerized cargo, one of the nation’s premier cruise ports and a major center for shipbuilding and repair. For more information, please visit the Web site at www.tampaport.com.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please visit http://www.pancanal.com/. You can also follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thepanamacanal.