15th TOC Americas to highlight what ports can do now to prepare for bigger cargo volumes via the Panama Canal
London, 01.10.15 – The widening of the Panama Canal locks will allow transit of container vessels of up to 12,600 TEU capacity. Ports on the U.S. East Coast (USEC) and across the Caribbean & Latin America are expected to gain significantly greater container traffic as shippers and carriers maximize the potential for all-water routes to get goods to market. But which of the ports in question will have the capacity and capability to handle these larger cargo volumes?

The 15th edition of TOC Americas, taking place in Panama, 13-15 Oct, will drill down into the key issues of port productivity and potential as they plan for the coming container wave.

East-West competition

The maritime industry is witnessing is a growing disconnect between ship sizes, cargo peaks and port capabilities. It is a global problem, but one that is increasingly acute both in North and Latin America. For example, USEC ports have traditionally enjoyed lower costs and higher productivity compared with their West Coast peers. As economies of scale for larger ships are mainly realized on longer voyages, one might assume that the scene is set for USEC ports to profit hugely from the Panama Canal’s expansion. However, not all USEC gateways will be able to receive vessels of much greater size, not least because of restricted fairway and quayside depths. But even those that are likely to see larger vessels calling, improving turn-around times will still be crucial to their securing the long term gains.

New infrastructure is part of the answer, but lead times are long, and, as certain ports have found, sometimes intensely controversial and difficult to implement. However, trade won’t wait, and so the port and terminal community needs to learn now how to make a difference, as well as planning for the longer term. Ports and supply chain stakeholders can no longer think it’s ‘business as usual, just bigger’. New responses to long-standing challenges of improving performance are urgently needed. These include a fresh approach to the historically fragmented relationship between the many different parties that come together inside the port space, and along the landside supply chain.
These challenges, and potential solutions, will be debated throughout this year’s TOC Americas, but in particular, during a special panel session on Day 2 entitled Big Ships, Port Productivity & Congestion – Moving the Needle.

Moderated by Bill Ralph, Senior Consultant/Economist, RK Johns & Associates, the panel features: Maximiliano Alcorta, Regional Operations Manager, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company Chile; Pascal Ollivier, Director of Corporate Development, SOGET; Gary Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer, Peel Ports; and Russell Held, Vice President, Economic Development, Port of Virginia.

Further afield, TOC Americas will also highlight port and maritime logistics developments across the regional landscape. Focused insight into how other ports are gearing up for the post Panama expansion era include exclusive case studies of some of the most interesting maritime projects in the region.

On Day 1, Charles Baker, Director General, TC Mariel S.A., will walk delegates through how he led Cuba’s primary port and container terminal to start up, and its prospects as a future transhipment hub for the Caribbean. Continuing the theme of pioneering port developments, on Day 2, John Bressi, General Manager, Tuxpan Port Terminal, will update the audience on SSA’s new green field container terminal in Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, while Miguel Duro, Sales and Marketing Director, Grup TCB, will explain the development progress at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.

And to provide a comprehensive overview of what the expanded Panama Canal implies for regional logistics, TOC Events is delighted to confirm as a speaker Rodolfo Sabonge. Until November 2013, Mr. Sabonge was Executive Vice President of Planning and Business Development for the Panama Canal Authority. Now a principal in the consulting firm LogiTrans Advisory Services, he also serves as external advisor for McKinsey & Co., in the area of infrastructure planning and development.

TECHTOC showcase
To complement this strategic planning, the co-located TECH TOC conference programme will showcase a multitude of technologies available to terminal planners and operators to aid them in their quest for truly optimal container handling.
TECH TOC sessions on Optimizing Quay Operations & Vessel Handling Productivity, Optimizing Yard Operations & the Berth / Gate Interface, and Port Planning, Design & Automation – Next Generation Container Terminals for the Americas are just three of many critical knowledge opportunities for delegates and visitors to bring themselves up to speed on modern terminal operations technologies.

Hosted by Panama Canal Authority, this year’s event includes Container Supply Chain and TECH TOC conferences, site visits to the Panama Canal expansion site, networking receptions and exhibition of port services, equipment and technology.

TOC Americas 2015
13-15 October
El Panama Hotel, Panama