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Panama Ports Company

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Since 1997, Panama Ports Company (PPC) is in charge of managing two ports, one on each side of the Panama Canal. The Port of Balboa is located in the city of Panama (Pacific Ocean) and the Port of Cristobal, in the city of Colon (Atlantic Ocean). The company began operations in Panama through a 25-year extendable concession by granted by the government (Law 5 of January 16, 1997) for the administration of both ports.

Panama Ports Company is at present carrying out investments of more than US$1,000 million in both ports to transform them in megaports so they will increase their capacity to handle 6.5 million TEUs. These investments provide a significant upturn for the economy, both local as well as that of the entire American region. In addition, this requires the implementation of continuous recruitment and training programs, so as to offer its personnel a port career, guaranteeing the highest levels of productivity to its thousands of users.

Panama Ports Company’s mission is to be the world market leader in port development and operation and logistical services in America. Its objectives are to facilitate global commerce and economic growth through the development and modernization of the ports and auxiliary services, in addition to assisting and counselling world commercial organizations and government authorities involved in port infrastructure, maritime and transportation matters to increase global welfare to all by moving and exchanging products, people, ideas and cultures.

Panama Ports Company is committed to provide links and strategic access in the Transatlantic and Transpacific routes. Its dynamic business is directed to its clients and to enhance the competition of the many lines to which it provides first-class services backed up by advanced technologies.

In its IV Phase of expansion, with an additional investment of US$300 million, it will handle 4 million TEU and serve megaships from the most important trade routes in the world.


To be the leading corporation in Panama in port development and operation.


To offer our customers a first-class service anchored by our highly qualified and efficient Panamanian workforce thru modern port facilities representing the highest standards of Hutchison Port Holdings in the Region, while contributing, in a sustainable manner, to the economic and social growth of the country.


The Panama Ports Company’s ports operates have also benefited from the company’s policy of training local staff and transferring best practices and proprietary leading-edge technology.

Panama Ports Company is a dynamic, customer-driven business, dedicated, like other ports of HPH, to enhancing the competitiveness of the many shipping lines we serve.

Panama Ports Company is proving its commitment to the shipping industry and Panama by doing both; providing excellence in serve and facilities to all our customers.


Panama Ports Company (PPC) fuses the ports of Cristobal and Balboa located at each end of the Panama Canal. PPC is committed to transforming the two major hubs ports to serve the Atlantic and Pacific routes of trade. The port terminal bids Balboa container dock 350 meters deep and 8.4 hectares of container storage, equipped with three cranes and 16 RTGs great spring Panama.

Phase III development project Balboa container, includes the construction of 270 meters of quay deep and 7.5 hectares of container storage, three cranes equipped super post Panamax quay, 5 RTGs, and modernization of 220 meters from the pier equipped with two Panamax quay cranes for feeder operations. The Port of Balboa also offer spring 820 meters for self-sustained operation of all types of cargo.

After completing all phases of the modernization program, the Balboa Pier will have 1500 meters deep, 50 hectares of container storage, 12 cranes and 28 RTGs great spring Panamax.

PPC aims to provide excellence in all cargo handling and other port services with comprehensive and continuous training of our skilled labor and the use of leading edge technology to all operations. Advanced computer systems used in the ports of Balboa and Cristobal to the yard and vessel planning, by providing information to our customers with EDI links.

PPC strives to further develop a hub dedicated Balboa and Cristobal transhipment handling and ease of operation as coordinated. Running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, PPC is committed to handle a variety of issues including containers, general office, passenger vehicles and bulk. Flexibility and attention to individual client needs to ensure our customers receive quality service and shorter turnaround times by calling at our ports.


We are developing an environment where people can count with the global resources of a port and with its chain of managerial staff. We encourage and sponsor employees to participate in management training programs and learning opportunities to help them develop managerial and leadership skills. Panama Ports Company offers intense management and practical training through customized programs. These programs provide a unique curriculum for the industry and are designed to accelerate learning by port employees.

We are also committed to improve the academic level of our professionals by allowing them to participate in programs where they attend courses within their scope of interest and have the opportunity to view a panoramic scene of the business while developing their own skills. People talk to each other and share then knowledge.


Operation personnel share logistic knowledge; engineers share technologies; people share ideas that allow continuous improvement and great innovations.

To achieve this level of global success, people must face challenges and turn them into accomplishments; our leaders are committed to the creation and implementation of service-enhancing technologies that point to the future, fully supported by an environment that offers infinite opportunities to increase their strengths. Panama Ports Company is constantly seeking creative minds that keep us ahead in the fields of port development and operations, and the application of technologies that strengthen the entire transportation and logistics chain.

The company is aware of the fact that human resources are the most valuable assets of an enterprise. For that reason, year after year it invests in its labour force, operative as well as administrative, so that it can be fully qualified to carry out its mission. Therefore, all this effort results beneficial to the clients, the country and the company.

Panama Ports Company invests resources so that its workers can be trained abroad and in other ports belonging to the Hutchison Port Holdings Group in the handling of modern port equipment. Instruction programs continually keep all personnel informed on ship planning, shipping yard operations, equipment handling, preventive maintenance, cargo verification, etc. This guarantees high productivity levels and, as a result, client satisfaction.


Balboa Port

The Port of Balboa exceeded the expectations of the company, the clients and the potential of a team that was 100% Panamanian. Since its inauguration in November 2000, the Port of Balboa container terminal has consolidated to become one of the important terminals in Panama. In the year 2001, just six months later, it had accomplished the handling of 380,000 TEU, reaching its maximum capacity.

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This event lead to the construction of the third expansion phase and the modernization of the port, which concluded and was inaugurated in January 2005, noticeably increasing the capacity and handling of the cargo in the port.



Balboa was first located at the former La Boca French Port, on the Panamanian Pacific end. The port was refurbished by the Americans at the beginning of the construction of the Canal into a modern facility named Ancon. Later it received its present name: Balboa. Since its inauguration in 1909, it was a vital port for maritime trade on the Pacific because it was the only one in its category between Salina Cruz, Mexico, and El Callao, Peru which represented the vessels
of great fret of those days (3 000 tons) a passage of two thousand miles between both points.

The Port of Balboa has had the geographic advantage that is the Isthmus of Panama, as well at the opportunity to grow according to the demands of world markets. This has caused the largest shipping lines in the world to focus on it. The growth has granted PPC the satisfaction of having 30% of the cargo market moving through the Panamanian ports (according to official numbers given by the Panamanian Maritime Authority).

Cristobal Port

The Port of Cristobal has been operating commercially for more than a century. According to history, the first wooden quays constructed in Cristobal date back to 1851, when they were designed to disembark workers and materials to be used for the construction of the Transisthmian Railroad. The small port of Aspinwall was the destination for the passenger steamships carrying people driven by the Gold Rush, from New York to California. Back then the port had 3 or 4 docks, one of which was made of iron. In the other, the trains came close to the deck of the steamships that were docked there.

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In 1997, Panama Ports Company started the process of transforming the quays and adapting them to the new world trade operations, that is, the transportation of cargo in containers.

This expansion of the Port of Cristobal will offer its customers 3,731 meters of quay, 10 gantry cranes (Panamax and Post Panamax), providing an installed capacity of 1.5 million TEUs. Cristobal’s Phase I, which was started in 2005, will transform it into a world-class port, and in a short period of time, into another megaport as that of the Port of Balboa. These phases include the construction of 660 meters of deep-water quays, six (6) hectares for warehousing, equipped with seven (7) gantry cranes and 18 RTGs.

The Port of Cristobal had already been operating for 50 years when the Port of Balboa was inaugurated.



Water / Power Supply

  • Drinking water is supplied to docked vessels or on floating equipment.
  • Electricity is supplied to vessels through power plants.

Manual Labour Service

  • Stevedores perform unloading services in one or more ports to expedite cargo loading or unloading at other ports.
  • Shift cargo in the hold to secure proper working room or shift cargo from one hatch to another provided the cargo has not been unloaded in the quays.
  • To repair, tie, tight or loosen the cargo.
  • To carry out additional jobs when required so by the user or when necessary for cargo operations not included in the specified tariff schedule is not located at the piers.


Movement of Vehicles

  • Movement of vehicles of includes transferring vehicles from the storage area in the port to the vessel or vice versa.
  • Storage of vehicles
  • Import – Export of vehicles
  • Vehicle Towing / Mechanical assistance

Passengers Services

  • Transportation to passengers in transit to or from the vessel to the pier

General Cargo

  • Movement of general cargo
  • Solid bulk grains
  • Grains
  • Liquid bulk
  • Storage of logs
  • Others

Rental Equipment

  • 50-Ton Crane
  • 80-Ton Crane
  • Gantry Crane (non container operation)
  • Slings
  • Rental of Fork-Lifts
  • Tractor
  • Chassis / Platforms

Concessions and Rentals (buildings, spaces at the port)

Cargo Freight Station (6,110 square meters available for storage of general cargo)

  • Cargo Freight Station
  • Port of Cristobal
  • Reception and delivery of loose cargo
  • Checking of all vehicles, buses and equipment when receiving or delivering them
  • Receiving or loose cargo
  • Reception of goods
  • Delivery of loose cargo and vehicles
  • Consolidating containers with loose cargo and vehicles
  • Unpacking containers with loose cargo and vehicles

Citar este texto en formato APA: _______. (2014). WEBSCOLAR. Panama Ports Company. https://www.webscolar.com/panama-ports-company. Fecha de consulta: 20 de octubre de 2021.

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