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Tuesday, May 21 2019 @ 10:32 PM UTC

In Florida - Fighting Over New Panama Canal Business

Canal ExpansionFlorida Shipper - Worried that the Florida panhandle Port of Panama City could swipe container ships from the Port of Miami, Miami-Dade commissioners last month passed a resolution urging the Florida Legislature “to make infrastructure investments in the Port of Miami and other existing large seaports in Florida, rather than provide funding for the substantial expansion of the Port of Panama City in Florida’s Panhandle.” Commissioner José “Pepe” Diaz told the local papers he fears the Panama Canal Authority plans to point cargo through the soon-to-be-expanded Panama Canal straight to the Panhandle. Panama Canal officials cornered Diaz during a recent visit and convinced him the improbable emergence of Panama City was a real threat. Diaz said the canal authority gave a presentation in which “they expressed that they have created a new link that will go straight up to the Panhandle, and that it will be in their opinion more efficient and better, and they’re going to make a lot of revenue.” (more)

In response, the county’s resolution said “proposals have surfaced to make a substantial infrastructure investment in the Port of Panama City, a small seaport in the Florida Panhandle that would compete with the Port of Miami and other existing large Florida seaports not only for cargo and cruise passenger business, but also for state funding.”

Wayne Stubbs, executive director of Port Panama City, said the northwestern Florida port does not have a major expansion in store. The Panama City port’s channel is only 36 feet deep and already accommodates ships out of Panama, so the port probably won’t increase its depth, Stubbs added.

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