Port Executive Director Sandy Sanders lead a contingent of Plaquemines Port
Commissioners to Panama recently to participate in a fact-finding mission
designed to continue marketing port development opportunities in Plaquemines
Parish and build relationships with Panamanian decision makers.
with Sanders were Port Chairman Dr. Stuart Guey and port commissioners Anthony
Buras, Jeff Edgecombe, P.V. Griffin, and Keith Hinkley. Port lobbyist Eric
Sundstrom also attended.
said efforts underway at the Plaquemines Port correlate so well with huge
expansions taking place in Panama. "Panama is the epicenter because of
logistics, infrastructure and the ability to move cargo quickly. We fit well
logistically because we are the southernmost deep-water port on the Mississippi
River, about equal sailing distance from Panama as Charleston (SC) and Savannah
when the ships come here, our advantage is the ability to move cargo quickly to
33 states by barge, highway and rail. We will also be able to service larger
ships with the Mississippi River deepening project authorized by Congress. I
truly believe cargo moving through the Panama Canal will need ports just like
the port we are building to supply the needed volume for their scale,” Sanders
firsthand the economic boom in Panama as a result of thoughtful planning and
implementation by the Canal Authority only reinforces the fact that we are
using the right approach with the Port of Plaquemines. They continue to find
ways to move cargo quicker. Our emphasis has to be the same. Getting cargo to
market quicker than anyone else,” Guey said.
said the trip made evident the importance of establishing relationships in
Panama, which will be the center of activity for a long time. "There is so much
happening in Panama. The second canal is just getting close to opening and they
are already planning for a third canal. There is so much there, it is hard to
comprehend, he added.”
just in our infancy here but there are so many opportunities in the future.
We’ve talked for a long time about the need to diversify from the parish’s
dependence on just oil and gas revenues. In Panama, revenues generated at the
canal are being used to build infrastructure. My hope is that can also happen
in Plaquemines,” said Buras.
trip was a once in a lifetime experience. I never gave the canal much of a thought
with regards to Louisiana’s economy or the magnitude of the engineering
project. After this trip, I think Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish are set to
be on the ground floor of an economic boom,” said Sundstrom.