Outlook for All-Water Services to be Discussed at Conference

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
The growth of all-water Asia-US services via Panama and prospects for transhipment versus direct call services are two of the hot topics to be debated by senior shipping and port industry representatives at the third annual TOC Americas conference. Taking place 2-4 December in Panama City, speakers at TOC2003 Americas will review the latest plans for expansion of the Panama Canal and look at the reasons behind this year's surge in all-water services via the Canal to the US East Coast. Continued diversification of trade routes into the US for Asia cargo would have tremendous implications for investment in America's marine terminal network. Senior executives from the Panama Canal Authority, Port of New York and New Jersey, South Carolina State Ports Authority and Virginia International Terminals will be on hand to share their opinions on the capacity required to handle Asian trade growth and the impact of all-water services into the US East Coast. The debate will include a briefing by the Panama Canal Authority on the latest status of plans to widen the Canal. In a second debate, representatives from Panama Ports Company, SSA Marine, CSX World Terminals and Port of Jamaica will discuss regional growth in transhipment terminal capacity and the effects on ocean carrier strategy, with particular focus on the resulting competitive dynamics between existing and prospective hubs in the Caribbean. With new speakers recently confirmed from the Port of Jamaica and the Port of Rosario, Argentina, as well as leading industry analysts Mercer Management and Global Insight, TOC2003 Americas promises to provide a truly pan-American perspective on critical business issues for the maritime and port community. Key supporters for this third TOC Americas include Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), which operates two container terminals at either end of the Panama Canal. Commenting on the group's involvement, John Meredith, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings said: "Hutchison Port Holdings is a strategic investor, deeply committed to Latin America as an integral component of the group's global network of container terminals. As the world's leading port developer and operator, HPH is very pleased to be the principal sponsor of this year's TOC Americas conference. "Taking place this year in Panama, a major hub of north-south and east-west container traffic, the conference will provide the industry's top executives and decision makers with an excellent forum to both exchange views on contemporary issues facing the industry and highlight the region's diverse opportunities." The Panama Ports Company (PPC), a member of Hutchison Port Holdings, will be Principal Sponsor of TOC2003 Americas. PPC operates the ports of Cristobal and Balboa, located at each end of the Panama Canal, and is committed to transforming the two ports into major hubs to serve the Atlantic and Pacific trade routes. PPC operates 24 hours a day and provides cargo information to customers through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) links. Delegates at this year's conference can also gain free entry to a one-day pre-TOC conference on 'The Impact of the Maritime Security Code on Latin American Trade'. Organised by the Panama Canal Authority, another event sponsor, the free forum will provide participants with an insight into the impact that the new amendments made to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) will have on the operations of ports, shipping lines, importers and exporters. Visitors to the TOC2003 Americas exhibition will have the opportunity to see the latest products and services that the industry has to offer. Confirmed exhibitors include leading industry names, such as ABB Crane Systems, APS Technology Group, Asia Vision, Camco Technologies, Fantuzzi Reggiane Latin America, Gottwald Port Technology, Hutchison Port Holdings, KCI Konecranes, SMV Lifttrucks, Navis, Liebherr, Psion Teklogix and ESL Power Systems, Manzanillo International Terminal, Panama Canal Authority and Tideworks Technology.

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