The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) reaffirmed an alliance that will help to increase growth and trade, facilitate the flow of information sharing and promote the “All-Water-Route” (the route from Asia to the US East Coast via the Panama Canal). During an official ceremony in Panama, ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Aleman Zubieta and VPA Executive Director Jerry A. Bridges signed another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement further enforces the alliance between the Canal and the Port Authority, first initiated in June 2003.
“Our partnership with the VPA is more important than ever,” said Zubieta. “As we embark on the next phases of the [Panama Canal] expansion project, data sharing and market studies exchange will continue to be essential elements of our collaboration,” he continued. “As the only US East Coast port with the existing capability to handle post-Panamax vessels, the Port of Virginia is prepared for the waterway's expansion.”
Sharing information and best practices related to modernization and improvements are key benefits of this agreement, say the two executives. Both the ACP and the VPA continue to implement measures to increase capacity and spur growth.
“While the expansion of the Canal is vital to world commerce, the Virginia Port Authority is also positioning itself for increased demand by building infrastructure and incorporating the necessary enhancements to accommodate the growth that is to come,” said VPA's Bridges. “We are highly anticipating expansion and will celebrate the opening of the new locks.”
Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider vessels.