North Carolina State Ports Authority signs MOU with Panama Canal Authority
December 15, 2010 - LM Editorial
In the continuing story surrounding the Panama Canal expansion, The North Carolina State Ports Authority appears to writing the latest chapter.
Joining scores of other U.S. east coast cargo gateways in anticipation of the Canal’s historic $5.25 billion expansion, North Carolina State Ports Authority CEO Thomas J. Eagar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
The ACP and the North Carolina State Ports Authority will work together to generate new business through the promotion of the “All-Water Route,” the route between Asia and the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal.
Currently, 65 percent of the container volume at the Port of Wilmington and 60 percent of the breakbulk volume at the Port of Morehead City arrives via the Canal.
According to Aaron Ellis, a spokesman for the American Association of Port Authorities, (AAPA), the trend toward signing more MOUs is not likely to end soon.
“All U.S. ports are hedging their bets,” he said. “Which is a good thing.”
Joint collaboration between the organizations may include marketing activities such as joint press conferences or exhibits at maritime events; exchange of data on the forecasting of future trade trends; information sharing on modernization and improvements to increase customer service; and, joint training seminars.
“Access to global commerce is critical for North Carolina’s business community. The expansion of the Panama Canal will dramatically alter the maritime transportation system as we know it today by providing liner shipping companies and cargo interests unrestricted access to the U.S. East Coast. This expansion is a game-changer,” said Eagar.