The traceability of merchandise is Panama’s main weakness, despite the fact that the country has the greatest logistics competitiveness in Latin America, the Panamanian government acknowledged.
“We have a very weak point, even though we are the number one country in Latin America in the Logistics Performance Index (prepared by the World Bank), and that weakness is the traceability and tracking of the merchandise,” said the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena.
In 2016, Panama climbed five positions to 40, out of a total of 160, in the Logistics Performance Index published by the World Bank every two years and based on the data from a survey carried out among thousands of logistic companies and professionals.
Arosemena, who presented the results of the Logistics Cabinet in 2016, said that this year the government will work to “improve the digital exchange of information between institutions” and solve the problems of traceability.
The logistics sector, which accounts for 35% of Panama’s gross domestic product (GDP), is one of the main pillars of the Panamanian economy, along with tourism and the financial sector.
The development of a long-term logistics policy is one of the demands of the entrepreneurs, who complain that Panama does not take advantage of its privileged geographical position.
The Panama Canal first came into operation in 1914 and currently accounts for 6% of world trade.
The expansion of the interoceanic route, which began in 2007 with an initial cost of $ 5,250 million and was inaugurated last June, allows the transit of 97% of the world fleet of ships.
The new locks were designed to accommodate much larger ships, known as neo-panamax, which can carry up to 13,000 containers, that is, almost three times more than the panamax.