The Association of American Port Authorities has set the agenda for the 25th edition of its Latin American Congress of Ports.
Scheduled for Merida, Mexico, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, the event will bring together more than 400 international port leaders during four days of conferences, commercial displays, social activities and networking meetings.
The city of Merida, which organizers said combines “the flare of a splendid past with the modernity of consistent and planned growth,” has become the main center of commerce in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
The theme of the congress is “Looking to the Future: The Agenda of Latin American Ports for the Next 25 Years.”
The forum will discuss the main projects and trends of the sector and exchange ideas and knowledge with port authorities, operators, service providers, professionals, experts and executives from the industry.
The agenda includes discussions of the “Future of the Global Economy and International Transportation: Which Road Will Latin America Take,” and sessions on “Investments, Plans and Challenges Over the Next Decades” for the Mexican and Latin American port industries.
In addition, there will be panels delving into “Concessions and Contracts: The Port Business Map for Upcoming Decades,” “Long-Term Strategies: How do Modern and Efficient Ports Plan Today?” and “Smart Ports — Ports of the Future: Innovation in Technology Processes, Management, Security and Environment.”
Rounding out the Congress will be a roundtable with Latin American senior port authority executives on “The Agenda of Latin American Ports for the Next 25 Years.”
The global freight industry, and the importers and exporters that rely on it for their commerce, and the ports that serve it are in the midst of an evolution that is seeing larger vessels that at once have great capacity and are more energy-efficient.
Latin America is also at the heart of a $5.2 billion expansion of the Panama Canal that will help shippers deal with shifts in global trade patterns that have seen greater diversity. In the apparel and textile industry, for instance, Asia is still a center of sourcing and production, but the Western Hemisphere has become more important again, Europe still plays a key role and Africa is emerging as a new frontier.