Since 2010 up today, except for 2013 and 2015, the complex of Panamanian seaports specialized in containerized cargo were the Latin American’s seaports with the highest throughput. This seaport complex that includes three terminals in the Atlantic side and two in the Pacific side handled a total of 6.8 million teus in 2012, 2014 and 2015. The complex has a current handling capacity of 12.4 million teus with a current idle capacity of 5 million. A high level of connectivity between the port complex and the main centers of production and consumption involves a total of 65 liner services mainly dedicated to the transshipment operations. Transshipments represent approximately 85% of the yearly throughput of the complex.
The Atlantic cluster made up of Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), Colon Container Terminal (CCT) and Cristobal have a total of 16 berths, 40 quay cranes and 107 RTGs1 , while the Pacific cluster made up of Balboa and the new PSA Panama International Terminal has 8 berths, 28 quay cranes and 83 RTGs. With over 5,000 reefer plugs, these five seaports rank Panama as the number one country in Latin America in terms of operating quay cranes (68 in total). The Pacific cluster can accommodate up to 3 Post Panamax and 2 Panamax simultaneously, while the Atlantic cluster can handle in total up to 4 Post Panamax and 5 Panamax simultaneously.
Containers can be transferred between the Pacific and Atlantic clusters by either rail or truck; however inadequate road infrastructure limits the logistics performance of truck transfers between and within the clusters.
1 RTGs: Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes