PANAMA CITY, Fla. — It was a busy morning on Friday at Port Panama City’s new East Terminal in Springfield, as the port loaded its first cargo ship out of the facility.
The “G2 Ocean” vessel, called “Star Juventas,” was welcomed early Friday morning and is now being loaded with forest products to ship overseas.
“We’re very happy to get a ship in here and go to work,” said the Port’s Executive Director, Wayne Stubbs.
Stubbs presented the captain of the vessel, Capt. Fernando Camillo, with an honorary plaque commemorating the ship being the first one to use the port’s new facility.
“It’s a pleasure to be the first vessel at this port,” said Camillo. “I’m so happy and I hope more ships come to this port for business.”
Paper produced in Georgia and Panama City is being loaded onto the vessel over the next couple of days. Then, it’s headed to the Mediterranean, Europe, and back to the United States.
Terminal manager Tony Bullock said it is a $60 million investment well-spent.
“This has opened up the opportunity to just expand,” said Bullock. “I can’t stress or say enough how excited we are.”
Stubbs said the capacity of this facility sets up the region for economic opportunity.
“There will be a lot of jobs here on the port, good-paying jobs,” he said. “But the largest economic impact is what comes from the port-supporting industries in the region, providing them an attractive port facility so they can access export markets for their products.”
In just a few weeks, one of those export markets will be the Far East.
This is the first time that’s happened in Panama City in decades; Stubbs said he hopes there will be many more success stories in the years to come.
“We think this facility positions the Port of Panama City to grow for the next several decades,” said Stubbs.