Panama City, Panama, February 8, 2021 – Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) and Colon Container Terminal (CCT), both port terminals located on the Atlantic side of Panama, have joined the collaboration efforts to help optimize supply routes for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and supplies to Latin America.
The Panama Canal, MIT and CCT have signed Memorandums of Understanding to establish an alliance of cooperation and explore working together to form a logistic hub on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal for the storage and distribution of the vaccine and supplies for the region.
“With the addition of MIT and CCT, Panama’s port system will work together in its commitment to help meet the demand imposed on the supply chain due to the pandemic, through the operation of terminals on both oceans,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales. “We will cooperate with Panamanian ports to seek options that allow us to use our experience, logistical capacity, and connectivity to support the distribution of the vaccine in the region.”
The Panama Canal will look into the development of additional facilities to store and/or break-bulk vaccine cargoes, power sources or surplus supplies, as well as connection roads to both terminals on the Atlantic side.
“During times of crisis like this, everyone in the supply chain must leverage their respective resources and collaborate with each other to work toward the common goal of ending the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. CCT is ready to contribute its experience, terminal and logistics infrastructure to support efforts related to the distribution of the vaccine in the region. The ports of Panama are at the crossroads of world trade and are among the best positioned to support this effort”, said Stephen Shaffer, President, Colon Container Terminal (CCT).
“Panama is a large cargo distribution center serving the entire world using its advantageous geographical position. Every effort that we make together for the efficiency in the logistics for the distribution of the vaccines is very important for the entire region. A Canal and ports in both oceans separated by 80 kilometers confirm our calling as a hub,” said Carlos Urriola, CEO, Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT).
MIT and CCT will cooperate with the design and equipment necessary to transport the containers with the vaccine between the terminals and the facilities. The ports will also provide operational expertise to explore their current terminal’s capacities to handle increased refrigerated containers.
With these agreements, MIT and CCT join Panama Ports Company (PPC) and PSA Panama International Terminal (PSA Panama) on the Pacific coast, in their efforts to handle and distribute the vaccines and supplies due to the pandemic.