Panama Canal Authority and Antwerp Port Authority to continue agreement

The Antwerp Port Authority and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) have resigned their intention to work together. The purpose of the agreement is to promote trade between the port of Antwerp and the West Coast of South America via the Panama Canal. In view of the positive evaluation of the first agreement, made in 2010, the new one will run for a period of five years, after which it can be further renewed.
The renewed collaboration agreement was signed by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano for the Panama Canal Authority and by CEO Eddy Bruyninckx and chairman Marc Van Peel for Antwerp Port Authority.
The first collaboration agreement, signed in 2011, was the first of its kind to be signed by the ACP with a European port. It covered among other things, joint marketing initiatives, the exchange of market studies and the setting up of training programs. Furthermore, there will be an information exchange regarding the handling of very large vessels – something the port of Antwerp and the Panama Canal have in common.
Trade with South America via the Panama Canal is very important for the port of Antwerp, amounting to some 4.7 million tonnes annually.
The collaboration between the two authorities has several existing aspects. For example, the new locks on the Panama Canal are based on the Berendrecht lock in Antwerp, the largest in the world. Also, the Panama Canal will use tugs for steering ships across the new transit lane which is currently being built. To successfully navigate the tugs, Panama Canal pilots followed training courses in Antwerp.

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