National Port System
Panama has a network of seaports that provide a variety of services to containerized, bulk, liquid and general cargo, as well as to passengers in cruise terminals. Panamanian seaports in the National Port System (NPS) are divided into two groups: state ports and private ports. Private ports have been given to terminal operators after a privatization process of former state ports (concession). State ports are still operated by the government under the management of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), and basically provide dockage and other related services for local users and short-sea services.
|Private Ports||State Ports|
By leveraging the geographical position of Panama as the country´s most important asset, several ports surrounding the Atlantic and Pacific entrances of the Panama Canal have specialized in the handling of containerized cargo converting the cluster in a transshipment hub.
Panama has several containerized seaports in the Atlantic area mainly serving the East Coast of North and South America, and the Caribbean: Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), Cristobal and Colon Container Terminal (CCT). At the Pacific area, it also has terminals that provide container handling services: Balboa and PSA (Panama International Terminal). The Balboa and Cristóbal terminals are operated by Panama Ports Company, a member of Hutchinson Port Holdings.
In addition, the Bocas Fruit Co. terminal in Almirante, located at the northwestern part of Panama in the province of Bocas del Toro, performs commercial activities of containerized cargo primarily focused on bananas exports.