Jorge Luis Quijano, incoming Administrator for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), will give the opening address at this year’s TOC Container Supply Chain Americas conference, returning for the fourth time to Panama on December 4-6. Quijano, who officially takes up his new role on September 4, was named this March as the successor to Alberto Alemán Zubieta, who has been at the helm of ACP for the past 16 years.
A native of Panama, Quijano has been with ACP since 1975, most recently as Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Programs Management Department in charge of the Panama Canal expansion programme.
The new ACP Adminstrator is the latest in a series of high-profile maritime and container supply chain executives confirmed to speak at the 12th annual pan-American gathering, taking place under the headline theme Resilience, Reliability & Responsiveness: Innovative Approaches to Manage New Risks.
The voice of the cargo owner will be strongly represented at TOC Americas this year, with logistics executives participating from major industrial producers and consumer brands including paper products giant Cartulinas, Dole Fresh Fruit, Kraft Foods and Proctor & Gamble. Shippers will air views on issues including logistics network planning in the wake of Panama Canal expansion, the impact of near-shoring and the continued volatility in container shipping.
As ocean carriers press ahead with a range of alliance, capacity and rate restoration initiatives, and put plans in place for Panama Canal expansion, liner shipping strategies on East-West and North-South trades will be a major focus of attention during the 3-day event. Senior shipping figures joining this year include Wolfgang Freese, President, Hapag-Lloyd (America), Erxin Yao, President, OOCL (USA), Robbert Jan van Trooijen, Chief Executive, Latin America & the Caribbean for Maersk Line and Poul Hestbaek, SVP Latin America West Coast & Caribbean at Hamburg Süd. Lively debate is anticipated on how to stabilise container shipping and how new carrier initiatives will impact both shippers and supply chain partners.
Infrastructure investment and development to accommodate new container trade dynamics and flows will also be high on the agenda. With throughput up 11% to 41.3m TEU, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was the fastest-growing region for container traffic in 2011. Growth in North American ports was a negligible 1.1% last year, but at over 50 million TEU, US and Canada volumes were still close to an all-time high.
The challenges and opportunities of upgrading ageing infrastructure and bringing new capacity to market will be discussed in-depth by speakers at this year’s conference, with terminal operators, port authorities and government agencies addressing issues from financing and public-private sector relations to port-hinterland connectivity and adoption of innovative terminal automation technologies.
Perspectives from the global terminal operator community will come from Matthew Leech, SVP & Managing Director Americas Region for DP World and Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, Managing Director Latin America for APM Terminals, among others, joined by regional majors including Carlos Urriola, Executive Vice President at MIT Panama, Jim Devine, President & CEO, Global Container Terminals USA and Mark Montgomery, CEO at Ports America Chesapeake.
Both Global Container Terminals and Ports America are gearing up their US East Coast facilities for the New Panamax era, with significant technology innovation and investment, while MIT Panama parent SSA Marine announced a $200 million plus investment programme for its flagship Panama facility at the end of last year.
“We are honoured to have a wealth of senior figures confirmed to speak this year in Panama from right across the Americas container supply chain,” said Rachael White, Content Director for TOC Events Worldwide. “With such experienced executives taking the stage, TOC attendees can once again count on extremely high calibre of debate and networking at this year’s event.”
TOC Container Supply Chain Americas takes place 4-6 December at the El PanamaHotel, Panama City, Panama. The event includes 2.5 TOC Container Supply Chain conference, new 1.5 day TOC Cold Chain stream, exhibition and free educational seminars.
World Maritime News, August 31, 2012; Image: Pancanal