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Tuesday, May 21 2019 @ 10:32 PM UTC

Philadelphia, Panama to Build Traffic

Canal ExpansionBy Peter T. Leach for the Journal of Commerce Online - The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and the Panama Canal Authority signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday that is aimed at increasing all-water container traffic from Asia to Philadelphia through the canal. Philadelphia does not now get many calls by container ships that use the all-water route from Asia because it does not yet have the channel depth. But the PRPA and the state are planning to build a large new container terminal called Southport at the former Philadelphia Navy Yard on the Delaware River that would be capable of handling the larger post-Panamax ships that will be able to transit the canal after it completes a third set of locks in 2014. The PRPA is also sponsoring a five- to seven-year project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Delaware River’s main channel from 40 feet to 45 feet, which will better position the port to accommodate the next generation of vessels with deeper drafts that will be able to transit the canal after 2014. The MOU was signed June 12 by PRPA Board Chairman John H. Estey and Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. Under the agreement, which is renewable after two years, PRPA and ACP will conduct joint activities and share best practices. Specific areas of focus will include marketing, research and data interchange, technical advancements and personnel training programs. The agreement demonstrates each organization’s dedication to meeting the anticipated increased levels of international trade. In 2008, PRPA cargo transiting the Canal, either on its way to or from its destination, totaled 1,906,343 long tons and represents half of all cargo handled by PRPA. Moreover, this number is up nearly 17,000 long tons from the year before.
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