Organizational Restructure of the Panama Canal

Posted on January 11, 2021

Although the Panama Canal is mainly known for its role in allowing the passage of ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it is also responsible for providing 95% of the region’s drinking water. In recent years, however, both functions of the canal are being threatened by new weather phenomena triggered by climate change. As the Canal’s administration struggles with water conservation management, the global pandemic continues. For the Panama Canal, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence and data analysis technology in developing strategies for revenue management based on real-time information.

Spurred on by global events and the ongoing drought, the Canal administration has finally decided after 2 years of deliberating to restructure their organization. The intent of the changes are to accommodate the integration of new technologies, optimize their processes, improve their competitiveness, and offer new added value to their customers. To achieve these goals 2 new offices were developed: the Hydric Project Office under the management of Jose Reyes, and the VP Of Digital Transformation with Antonio Cordoba at the helm. With these new offices, the administration is now leading a program for the design, construction, and commissioning of an optimized water management system.

The quantity of ships passing through the Panama Canal is beginning to return to normal volumes as a result of the global economy recovering and US retail stores restocking. The plans for the organizational restructuring will continue this year amidst the strict biosecurity controls in place for COVID-19. Although there are many global challenges in front of them the Panama Canal administration seeks to comply with the responsibility of guaranteeing the availability of water for the local population and canal operations alike and continue to be a driving force for Panama's development.

Contributor: Maria Urueta

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