Since before its own independence, Panama already had vital importance for international logistics and the boom of intercontinental trade, given its geographical and strategic location, as well as its almost exclusive maritime opening. This reality today remains present and is one of the greatest pillars for the growth of the country. Today, Panama has many great advantages apart from its geographical location, which position it as the Hub of the Americas:
The Panama Canal and its expansion: The expansion of the Panama Canal has doubled its capacity, allowing the passage of Post Panamax vessels with more than 14,000 TEU.
Ports with world class infrastructure in both oceans: Panama has three ports on the Atlantic Ocean and two on the Pacific. Colón, a city located on the Atlantic, is the largest port city in Latin America. At present, 23% of the port cranes in Latin America are in Panama.
Free Trade Zones: Panama has free trade zones on both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. These areas have a 0% tax on imports, exports and income, port-warehouse integration with a transit time of less than one hour and allow value-added services to be performed. These Free Zones have operated since 1948 and have more than 3000 registered legal entities.
International Air Cargo Center: The Tocumen International Airport currently handles a total of 400 daily flights to more than 80 destinations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The airport is set to open its second terminal next month, which will represent an increase of 54 new positions for aircraft. This expansion will increase cargo capacity and is aligned with the airports plan to build a Free Trade Zone to improve service for the cargo that moves through the airport.
Along with the previous points mentioned, Panama has roads for local distribution, a connected highway system to Central America and multimodal connectivity between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans (Panama Canal, Railway and Roads). 19% of the GDP of the country is related to logistics and this is a pillar that is predicted to continue to grow over time. As the world becomes more globalized with consumers expecting their products in their hands in the shortest time possible, Panama is the best option for any company that wants to distribute its products to Latin America. The Hub of the Americas has the connectivity to quickly reach many countries and therefore the client in the shortest time possible, allowing value added activities to comply with regulations in different countries and improve the supply chain of any company by lowering its distribution costs and improving its efficiency.