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Houston forecasts 150% container growth by 2030

23 Jun 2011 17:34 GMT

Containerized cargo volumes set to skyrocket as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal.



The Port of Houston has said that containerized cargo volumes could increase by 150 percent over the next 20 years as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal.

The forecast coincides with the renewal of its strategic alliance with the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), which took place yesterday during an official ceremony in Panama City, Panama.

The partnership, which was originally formed in 2003, has been extended for five years until 2016. It aims to boost trade along the "All-Water Route" between Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal and the Port of Houston.

According to the Port of Houston Authority, containerized cargo volumes could grow by around 15 percent over the next few years, with a projected 150 percent increase to a total of 4.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by 2030 as a direct result of the Panama Canal expansion project.

The $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, which broke ground in 2007, includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.

The Port of Houston Authority and the ACP will both celebrate their centennial in 2014 – the same year that work on the waterway's expansion is expected to be completed.

"The renewal of this agreement signals an even stronger relationship between Houston's port and Panama," said Port Commission Chairman James T. Edmonds. "We look forward to the increased trade expected from the Canal's expansion, jobs creation and enhanced economic development in the region as we move toward another century of progress."

"As we forge ahead with the expansion of the Panama Canal, we are committed to strengthening our partnerships with ports in the United States. The expansion will benefit ports along the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S., and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Port of Houston Authority," said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Aleman Zubieta.

With this renewed agreement, the objective of both entities is to foster growth in trade and to increase traffic through the Canal with such activities as:

* Joint Marketing to generate new shipping business via promotions, advertising and public relations activities;

* Data Sharing to forecast future trade flows and market trends;

* Market Studies Exchange that may benefit either party in future product development or business venture;

* Sharing of Information Related to Modernization and Improvement projects that serve as a benefit to business and spur increased demand; and,

* Technological Interchange of advanced technology capabilities and programs to spur cutting-edge initiatives in the shipping and maritime community.






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