Since the sixteenth century, Panama has been an important logistic node for communication between South America, North America, and Europe for trade and load transit. Panama ports move more than 700 million tons per year while Panama Canal moves 325,428,407 tons, according the statistics of 2014. Most of the maritime cargo moved through Panama is transit and transshipment cargo. Consequently, and due to the geographical position and future opportunities based on the expansion of the Panama Canal, Panama could be a strategic hub of global trade flows. This is an opportunity to develop value-added logistics services (VALS) in Panama Canal. Thus, this research aims to present a preliminary analysis of VALS industry in Panama, identifying critical variables that could enhance these services. This is a survey-based research, using interviews with the main suppliers of VALS in Panama and some of their customers. The methodology applied to analyze the data is means-end value hierarchy model (MEVHM), which was used to understand VALS industry in Panama and identify what is valuable to customers. Results showed that each VALS provider serves a mean of 20 companies, 22% of them are national clients while 78% are international clients, which recognized the geographical position as their main reason to work with logistics experts from Panama. Furthermore, 92% of them were very satisfied or satisfied with the service received. Main VALS in Panama are labeling, tagging, and packaging. In contrast, areas to be improved are customs procedures, national logistics processes, product’s traceability, competitive prices, and human resources training.
Juan Marcos, C., Zoila Yadira, G.d.C., Pablo Alcides, A. and Ada Carolina, K. (2018), "Value-Added Logistics Services Potential After Panama Canal Expansion", Yoshizaki, H.T.Y., Velázquez Martínez, J.C. and Argueta, C.M. (Ed.) Supply Chain Management and Logistics in Latin America, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 55-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78756-803-720181005
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