Bigger, better Panama Canal opens for business
Heads of state, regional business and community leaders gathered at the Panama Canal to celebrate the completion of the $5 billion expansion project that will improve the competitiveness of one of the world’s two most important short-cuts for trade.
As one of the oldest customers of the Panama Canal, the Maersk Group welcomes the expansion of the Panama Canal. It will provide good economy of scale and limit bottlenecks.
Over the past decade, Maersk has made significant efforts in order to support Latin American trade flows in and around Panama. In January 2014 the company announced the formation of a regional container shipping company, SeaLand, to focus on Intra American trades. The new U.S. based shipping company – a revival of the iconic SeaLand name – aims to facilitate the rapid growth in regional trading in Latin America.
SeaLand utilises the SAMMAX vessels, which Maersk designed specifically for trade off the east coast of Latin America. The larger carrying capacity and improved efficiency of the SAMMAX vessels are critical to lowering transport costs, which traditionally is one of the major barriers to economic development and in growth countries.
“With SeaLand we have established a dedicated carrier for the region to serve the needs of intra-America customers. We have the local specialists that know the markets and we have flexibility and nimbleness to respond quickly to changing market conditions,” says Craig Mygatt, CEO of SeaLand, which is headquartered in Miramar, Florida and has offices in 29 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.