There are countries in the region that can develop similar schemes to Panama, such as aviation and maritime hubs.
However, from the perspective of Kurt Schosinsky, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, they are still missing infrastructure and legislation.
The executive warned that Panama should not ignore the fact that these countries are advancing and developing rapidly in order to compete and improve their connectivity and logistics solutions.
The recently published Logistics Performance Index, issued by the World Bank, shows Panama fell 10 places compared to 2010 when it ranked 51st of 150 countries, while this year it ranked 61st.
Countries such as Colombia have improved their standing, moving two steps closer to Panama with a score of 2.87 versus the previous rating of 2.77. The neighboring country is a strong competitor to Panama’s port terminals and in recent years Colombia has begun a process of modernization of port infrastructure. It should be noted that Cartagena and Buenaventura are the two most important port terminals in that country and compete with the ports of Colon and Balboa for transshipment cargo.
Schosinsky’s comments were given after the planning manager of Tocumen SA, Luis Eleta, informed airport management that work on the modernization of the Tocumen Cargo terminal are to start in the middle of next year.
Asked how important the Tocumen cargo terminal is for multimodal cargo growth in Panama, the manager of DHL Global Forwarding replied that one of the advantages that Panama has to offer multimodal services is the agility and closeness of the ports to the airport and cycle times. He explained that the development and strengthening of logistics infrastructures are always key to the growth of Panama’s competitiveness.
The planning manager of Tocumen SA reported his department has been getting companies interested in using the Tocumen air hub. He also said that the first phase of modernization of the air cargo terminal would begin in mid-2013 and its evolution would depend on demand.
Cargo movement in the Tocumen Airport grew by 11% in 2011 compared to the previous year.
Eleta said the COPA collection center in Tocumen is an essential complement to the air cargo terminal.
This post is also available in: Spanish