September 3, 2015—Nathan Associates Inc. will study reactivating the terminal at Puerto Armuelles to spur economic growth in Panama’s western region and further boost Panama as a multimodal logistics center.
The firm was formally retained this week by the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP) through a cooperative agreement between the Authority and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF).
In the four-month project, Nathan Associates will devise a business model encompassing the Barú district, which is on the Pacific side of Chiriquí province. The firm will ascertain the potential users of logistics center and the amount of transit business necessary to attract investors in such a development.
The study will include examining the feasibility of an intermodal “dry canal” to Atlantic shipping. This connection could be a cost-effective alternative to the Panama Canal for some shippers.
The economy of Puerto Armuelles, near the border with Costa Rica, once depended on exporting bananas.
Nathan’s Infrastructure Planning & Economics practice, led by Dr. Paul E. Kent, will conduct the study, under the supervision of Principal Associate Gerardo Ayzanoa. The firm has performed transportation research and consulting in Panama for two decades. Mr. Ayzanoa recently studied the expansion of the Panama Canal and its economic impact on liner container shipping and transshipment.