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Panama Canal teams up with PPC, PSA to optimize supply routes for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The Panama Canal has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Panama Ports Company (PPC) and PSA Panama International Terminal to help optimize supply routes for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and supplies to Latin America.

As part of the agreement, the trio agreed to undertake joint initiatives to establish an alliance of cooperation and explore working together to form a logistic hub on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal for the storage and distribution of the vaccine and supplies for the region.

As explained, Panama’s logistics capabilities and strategic location at the crossroads of the Americas make it well-positioned to assist in meeting the demand imposed on supply chains by the worldwide pandemic.

“By forging this partnership, we aim to affirm Panama’s contributions to overcoming this global challenge,” Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, Panama Canal Administrator, commented.

“We have served the world throughout this global pandemic and together will facilitate its swift recovery through our combined capabilities as the logistics hub for the region.”

Specifically, the Panama Canal will look into the development of additional facilities to store and/or break-bulk vaccine cargoes, as well as power sources or redundancies and connection roads to both terminals on the Pacific side. 

PSA Panama and PPC will cooperate with the design and equipment necessary to transport the containers with the vaccine between the terminals and the facilities.

The ports will also provide operational expertise to explore their current terminal’s capacities to handle increased refrigerated containers. 

“We will provide the necessary infrastructure and logistics management capabilities through our port equipment, … technological tools and above all with the experience … of our staff in the management of refrigerated containers, a fundamental piece in the transfer and storage of vaccines,” Jared Zerbe, CEO, Panama Ports Company, said.

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