Latin Ports: Panama, Peru Grow Most
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3rd July 2009

Container ports in Panama, Peru and Chile are the fastest-growing in Latin America.

BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
 
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – The port of Balboa easily awes any visitor to Panama’s capital Panama City. Its large number of cranes and containers can be seen from one of the city’s key roads as well as when landing or taking off at the city’s national airport Albrook.  While its growth is impressive in Panamanian terms, its expansion is just as impressive in Latin American terms. For the second year in a row, it is the fastest-growing container port in Latin America, according to the fourth annual ranking of the region’s top container ports from Latin Business Chronicle.  The ranking is based on data from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Balboa last year handled a total of 2.2 million TEU’s in container cargo. That represented an increase of 334,199 TEU’s. No other port grew as much in real terms. Measured in percentage terms, the growth was 18.2 percent, which was the highest among the region’s top ten ports.
 
Compared to three years ago – 2006 – Balboa’s traffic has more than doubled.  “Balboa …has had an impressive growth the past three years,” says Gabriel Pérez, an infrastructure and transport specialist at ECLAC.
Meanwhile, Colon is also increasingly narrowing its gap with Santos. In 2006, its traffic was 20.6 percent lower. Last year, it was 8.4 percent lower. ”Colon is getting …

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