After experiencing the Metro ride and touring the 3M company warehouse, we headed to the Panama Ports. The first thing we saw were thousands of containers stacked throughout the port. We were welcomed at the Hutchison Ports, also known as the Panama Ports Company. Hutchison has 2 main ports in Panama making them the largest port provider in Panama. One of their ports is located on the Atlantic side, and the other is located on the Pacific side. These locations are very beneficial to the transportation of goods for many countries. The location of these ports also allows great access for ships and makes the process very efficient. Before the tour, we sat through a presentation on the history of Panama and the Panama Canal itself. We were given many details on the discovery, creation, and development of the country and the Panama Canal. We learned a great deal about Hutchison Ports through multiple videos and visuals. Since March 1, 1997, Hutchison Ports have moved 114 million TEUs.
We then had the opportunity to drive into the port and get a closer look at the operations. We had to pass through security in order to get into the port. One of the first containers we saw was for oversized cargo. The tires in these cargos were so large that the top of the tires were able to be seen above the container. We then drove close to a ship that had containers being added and removed by large cranes. The Panama Canal charges the ships not only for going through the canal itself, but also for the weight of the ship. Because of this, ships leave containers at the port and pick them up when leaving the canal. It was fascinating to see the large cranes moving around the container from the shop to the port. The containers get transported through the port through other modes of transportations. This way, money can be saved when passing the Panama Canal because the ship will be lighter. Being that close to the ship made everyone realize how large the ship actually is and how many containers are able to be placed on it. We were then taken on a mini driving tour around the rest of the port. Overall, it was amazing to be able to see the process these boats go through when passing the Panama Canal.
After a long day, we headed to Isla Perico for dinner. A few of us ate at La Hacienda Colombia. We ordered arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), hamburguesa de la casa (signature burger), and filete de puchuga a la plancha (grilled chicken breast). The food was delicious, but some of us still wanted to end the night with ice cream from Heladeria. We then ended the night by walking to the Causeway. When walking through the area, it was interesting to see the different types of street foods that are available at night. The area seemed very lively and friendly at night as there were many families hanging around the area as well. It was a beautiful sight while walking along the water.
Blog by Kina Tamai