As part of GAC Group’s growth strategy across the Americas region, a GAC-owned office is now operational in Panama, providing a wide range of shipping services to vessels calling at Panamanian ports or transiting the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, permitting ships to travel around South America, saving time and money. In 2016, a new set of locks was opened to allow even larger ships to pass through the canal.
Bob Bandos, GAC’s Group Vice President – Americas, says: “As a global ship agency, GAC has a growing base of customers and prospects utilizing the Panama Canal, so it was imperative to set up our own office here. Our expansion into Panama reaffirms the Group’s long-term commitment and investment in the Americas region. We are confident that Panama will be an important contribution to our global network as well as to our local customers.”
Panama’s strategic location and having the U.S. as its most important trading partner make it a natural extension of GAC in the Americas region. The Panama office will provide a suite of services including traditional ship agency, specialized husbandry, ship spares delivery, crew matters and repairs.
Heading up the GAC Panama operations is Alexei Oduber, a 27-year industry veteran well versed in all aspects of the shipping industry as well as freight forwarding in the Panama Canal. Previously, GAC used a GAC network agent for vessels in Panama.
“GAC Panama is ready to provide our customers with the same high level of expertise and ethics GAC is known for worldwide. I look forward to tapping into my years of experience and contacts to meet our customer’s needs, foresee their requests and offer cost effective solutions,” Oduber says.