Goal to Boost Trade between Asia and Savannah through the Panama Canal

“All-Water Route” is Safe, Reliable and Economical Link to Bring Asian Goods to U.S. Consumers

SAVANNAH, Georgia – June 20, 2003 – With more than 60 percent of Panama Canal traffic originating from or traveling to the East Coast of the United States, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today an historic move to boost trade by striking a strategic alliance with the Georgia Ports Authority. The alliance will increase cooperation – such as joint marketing – between the Panama Canal and Georgia ports and will seek to boost trade along the All-Water Route, the route from Asia to America’s East Coast via the Panama Canal.

Today’s event between the Georgia Ports Authority and the ACP was highlighted with a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the Administrator of the Canal, Alberto Alemán Zubieta, and Deputy Executive Officer of the Georgia Ports Authority, David Schaller. During the past few years, containerized cargo flowing through the Panama Canal on the Asia-U.S. East Coast route has experienced significant growth as a result of shippers’ demand for all-water services. The Georgia Ports Authority projects that nearly 700 vessels representing a total of over 1,000,000 TEUs will use the Panama Canal to call on the port of Savannah on all-water routes in 2003; nearly 70 percent of the port’s total volume will travel via the Panama Canal. Georgia ports are creating jobs and producing economic development in the region because of increased volume and investment – and the two entities hope to continue this trend and increase traffic through the Canal.

“Having recently shifted our model to run the Canal as a business, this cooperation agreement with the Georgia Ports Authority is an example of the ACP’s aggressive strategy to improve services for our customers, generate economic development in Georgia and increase trade along the All-Water Route,” said Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “There will be real, tangible benefits from this agreement – a win-win for our customers, the people living in the southeast region and the Canal. The joint marketing, exchange of ideas and the sharing of information on modernization projects demonstrate our desire to execute solutions for the long-term growth needs of the shipping community and international trade,” Alemán concluded.

Specifically, the parties involved may conduct the following activities:

  • Joint Marketing Activities to generate new shipping business via promotions, advertising and public relations activities;
  • 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 programs in the shipping and maritime community.

The MOU will continue for one year, and will be renewable on an annual basis.

About the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal Authority is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating, and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the website: www.pancanal.com.