The 2016 Panama Canal expansion added a third set of locks while doubling its shipping capacity. With the physical enlargement came a new transit booking system and a slot auction. Both addressed bottlenecks by shortening wait times at peak seasons. In its first fiscal year of operation, the number of ships rose 3.3% while total tonnage increased 22%. This singlehandedly stemmed from the new maximum size of Panama vessels that can transit. As expected, the expansion resulted in some diversion of traffic, higher demand for passage, and new investment in ports – primarily on the East Coast – to accommodate larger ships. The greatest potential impact for manufacturing companies will be on trucking capacity.
In October, MAPI held its most attended webinar of the year: Transfer Pricing & Customs Valuation. In today’s cross-border business environment, transfer pricing and U.S. Customs valuation are integral, and companies must have a clear understanding of the unique requirements of each to the business.
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