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Panama regains local cargo in 2022

Panama is an important player in the international trade. More than fifteen shipping lines call at the ports of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts on a regular basis, and the country remains at the top of the port ranking in Latin America.


Statistics of the containers through the ports of Panama during 2022 were recently published. The amount was similar to the volume of the previous year, with 8.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) in 2022. The difference between both years was just -1%.

Graphic of the container moves in Panama per year
Source: Statistics of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP)

Most of these moves correspond to the transshipment of cargo through Panama. Transshipment decreased by 2% in 2022, as a result of the slowdown in global economies, the restructuring of liner services and the effect of the closures in China.


Local cargo (imports/exports) reached 947,426 TEUs in 2022, a 6% increase compared to the previous year and it managed to exceed the local cargo volume of 2019 (941,806 TEUs).


The terminals with the major share in local imports and exports in 2022 were Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) with 36% of total local cargo, Colon Container Terminal (CCT) with 23% and Panama Ports (PPC) Balboa with 23%. In contrast, the terminals with the major increase in 2022 were PSA Panama International Terminal with a 76% increase in local moves and CCT with a 21% increase.


Graphic showing local cargo by terminal in Panama
Source: Statistics of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP)

By 2023, volumes are expected to continue to be impacted by the current economic slowdown. However, the ports are committed to expanding their capacities: PPC set up a logistics zone within the port of Balboa for value-added activities and MIT added two STS cranes to its docks in 2022.



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