PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Port of Houston Authority renewed their strategic alliance yesterday during an official ceremony in Panama City, Panama. The partnership, which was originally formed in 2003, is now extended for five years until 2016. It aims to boost trade along the “All-Water Route” between Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal and the Port of Houston Authority.

Port Commission Chairman James T. Edmonds and ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta signed the memorandum of understanding, inking the renewed partnership.

As a result of the Panama Canal expansion project, the anticipated increase in containerized cargo going to Houston could grow by 15 percent in the next few years, with a projected 150 percent increase to a total of 4.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2030.

The $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, which broke ground in 2007, includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.

The Port of Houston Authority and the ACP will both celebrate their centennial in 2014 – the same year that work on the waterway’s expansion is expected to be completed.

“The renewal of this agreement signals an even stronger relationship between Houston’s port and Panama,” said Port Commission Chairman James T. Edmonds. “We look forward to the increased trade expected from the Canal’s expansion, jobs creation and enhanced economic development in the region as we move toward another century of progress.”

“As we forge ahead with the expansion of the Panama Canal, we are committed to strengthening our partnerships with ports in the United States. The expansion will benefit ports along the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S., and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Port of Houston Authority,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

With this renewed agreement, the two entities’ objective is to foster significant growth in trade and to increase traffic through the Canal with such activities as:

  • Joint Marketing 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 initiatives in the shipping and maritime community.

Leading business and government officials, shipping dignitaries and distinguished guests, including a delegation from the Greater Houston Partnership, attended the ceremony in Panama City.  Delegates from Houston also included Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and city of Houston Controller Ronald Green.


(Panama) Teresa Arosemena
Phone: (507) 272-1873 E-mail:

(U.S.) Tamika Hawkins
Phone: (202) 350-6648 E-mail:

(Port Authority) Lisa Ashley, Director, Corporate Communications
Office: (713) 670-2644   Cell:  (832) 247-8179      E-mail:

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 You can also follow us on Twitter:

About the Port of Houston Authority
The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the public facilities located along the Port of Houston, the 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities designed for handling general cargo, containers, grain and other dry bulk materials, project and heavy lift cargo, and other types of cargo. Each year, there are more than 7,700 vessel calls at the port, which ranks first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in overall total tonnage. The port authority plays a vital role in ensuring navigational safety along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been instrumental in Houston’s development as a center of international trade. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility are the first of any U.S. port facilities to develop and implement an innovative Environmental Management System that meets the rigorous standards of ISO 14001. The second recertification of those facilities in 2009 included an extension for the state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal. The port authority is the first port authority in the world to receive ISO 28000:2007 certification for its port police and the perimeter security operations at both the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals. Additionally, the port is an approved delivery point for Coffee “C” futures contracts traded on the New York Board of Trade’s Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange. For more information, please visit