Tulio Sulbaran, MD Sarder, and Chad Miller of the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT) at The University of Southern Mississippi recently visited Panama to continue strengthening relationships with the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá (UMIP) and representatives of the logistics and transportation industry in Panama.
The trip was sponsored by SENACYT, which is the Panamanian equivalent of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), as part of a national effort to improve the country's transportation and logistics workforce. In addition to the sponsorship of SENACYT, the collaboration was made possible due to a Memorandum of Understanding with UMIP, signed by Southern Miss President Martha Saunders in 2009.
During the visit, the CLTT delegation met with private and public sector representatives. The CLTT delegation also had the opportunity to interact with Panamanian professionals participating in UMIP’s Master of Science in International Transportation and Logistics (MS ITL). MS ITL instructors come from the top universities in Panama as well as international universities.
CLTT faculty shared expertise with their Panamanian counterparts in an academic course format on issues dealing with the analysis, design and implementation of domestic and international transportation systems of people, processes, and technology. Topics included the role of transportation in extended enterprise, modes of transportation, transportation optimization techniques, value-added supply chain issues, financial performance measures and the role of government in business logistics.
UMIP professionals pursuing the MS ITL that participated in the course had the opportunity to initiate three projects customized to their needs and interest to explore the implications of the Panama Canal expansion on business logistics. The participants examined the impact of the Canal expansion on the Port of Gulfport, freight handling equipment in Panama needed to handle expected demand, and an industry analysis of the Panamanian distribution industry. The Panamanian participants will be interviewing industry experts as part of their research and presenting their findings in March.
The CLTT faculty also met with industry leaders in Panama to develop connections that will help Mississippi. Some of the organizations interested to increase ties with Southern Miss include the Panama Maritime Chamber, the City of Knowledge Foundation and DHL Central America.
For more information about the Center, online visit http://www.usm.edu/logistics-trade-transportation