Natchez-Adams County Port director to travel to Panama in December

Published 1:16 am Friday, October 21, 2016

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams County Port director is looking to go to Panama in December to sign a memorandum of understanding with canal officials.

Port Director Anthony Hauer, also the president of Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association, will make the trip to the Panama Canal to sign a document promoting joint marketing and modernization for the canal and the association.

A decade-long $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal was completed in late June, which doubled the waterway’s capacity. Hauer said with the expansion the canal can either support two ships going in opposite directions or bigger ships. Either way, Hauer said the number of cargo moving into and out of the Gulf of Mexico would be increased.

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“Sitting here in Natchez, you maybe cannot fathom the Panama Canal having any authority on what is happening, or even what could happen,” Hauer said. “If Natchez ever gets on the map, and this barge business grows, Natchez could become a container barge assistant yard — a midstream stop.”

Hauer said he would tell Panama officials that the Natchez port is available for aid in shipping containers.

“The Mississippi River is the main stream running north and south,” Hauer said. “We know they are going to pass by Natchez. Natchez is logistically efficient, economically, to aid in emptying these containers.

“With more barge traffic on the river, some of us, we could tap into some of it,” he said.