The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and Port Everglades renewed their strategic alliance today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First signed in August 2009, the MOU, which is renewable for five years, solidifies both entities’ dedication to growth and best customer practices.

“Our partnership furthers our shared goal of promoting trade growth in Panama and Florida,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “As we approach the completion of our expansion, we look forward to pursuing even more mutually beneficial activities with Port Everglades.”

Areas of cooperation between the ACP and Port Everglades include joint advertising programs, data interchange and competitive market analyses of the shipping industry. This alliance will also continue to promote the “All-Water Route,” the route from Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal.

Serving more than 150 ports and 70 countries, Port Everglades generates over $14 billion worth of business activity and approximately 140,000 jobs in Florida. More than 5.2 million tons of containerized cargo is transported through the Port. With the expansion of the Panama Canal slated for completion in 2014, it stands to benefit from anticipated growth.

“Just as the Panama Canal expansion is moving forward to meet the challenges of the future, so also is the Port Everglades Master/Vision Plan, providing us with a roadmap toward meeting those challenges. The strong working relationship between Port Everglades and the ACP will continue to provide mutual advantages in the years to come”, said Port Everglades Port Director Phillip C. Allen.

Initially approved in 2007, the Master/Vision plan is a comprehensive, dynamic roadmap designed to guide the Port’s growth through an estimated $2 billion in capital investments over a 20-year period. One major component is the deepening of the Port’s channels from 42 feet to 50 feet.

Meanwhile, the Canal’s expansion is well underway, following the recent commencement of the permanent concrete work for the new Atlantic side locks. The $5.25 billion project includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.