In 2009, the Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies joined a mission sponsored by the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to visit the Panama Canal. The mission, with a variety of public and private participants from the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee, received two excellent briefings on Panama and the Canal. Mr. Rodolfo R. Sabonge, Office of Market Research and Analysis Vice-President from the Panama Canal Authority, outlined the traffic patterns through the Canal and the basic expansion plans. Mr. David Hunt, with the American Chamber of Commerce, discussed how to do business in Panama and the Panamanian economy. The following day, the group toured the Miraflores Locks. On Saturday, the group transited the Canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic. While a long day, it was worth the trip!!
Over the ensuring years, ITTS sponsored a second trip to Panama with other ITTS member states and prepared additional presentations and reports on the Canal. However, I have not been back since the Canal was opened. I think it’s time for a return visit to tour the finished locks!