shipping to Panama


You will be better communicated with your customers and/or suppliers. Our Bicultural Identity is your best connection with Latin America.


You will not have to deal with the difficulties that may arise due to the complexity of the Latin American Market. We know what to do and how to do it for you.


You will be given expert support. Our superior knowledge of the market offers you specialized and cost effective solutions.


You will get a 24/7 faster and reliable service. We are always available and ready to help you expedite your shipments.


Considering shipping to Panama for the first time?

Unsure about logistics processes there?

Your current Freight Forwarder not filling in the blanks?


Before entering into the marketplace of any new part of the world, it is paramount to understand the differences that exist in the Cargo Shipping Industry, as well as the overall culture in general, compared with what you’re used to. Your first step should be selecting a shipping company that is already well educated in this culture, and has a proven track record of reliability and professionalism.

For shipping to Panama and surrounding area, that company is LAC.



Not only are laws written differently, but daily business practices, etiquette, and standards in Panama may vary greatly from what you’re accustomed to. For example, there is a different perception of time-management than with North American business: a key component in this industry. Apart from the potential language barrier, the standards and methods of business communication (oral and written) can be a challenge.

Other hurdles for doing business in Panama have traditionally included:

  • Bureaucracy
  • Lack of clarity and transparency in public tender
  • Slow judicial system
  • Copyright issues


Logistics companies and Customs Agents have reported inconsistencies in the application of standards and inefficiencies in the computer systems that are used to carry out the required tasks.

Although Panama is the main logistics hub of this region, employers and brokers have pointed out the presence of issues, such as poor management of the SIGA computer system, impacting service and impeding an increase in the competitiveness of Panamanian trade abroad. It is commonly believed that at some point or other, everyone gets held up when they have to deal with customs there.

One example sees a deficiency in their integrated computer border management system (SIGA) not allowing for loading bills of goods from China, going to the Colon Free Zone, to be registered directly there.


  • Liquors, wines, beers, or medicines with labels that falsely describe contents, or of any kind of harmful preparation.
  • Certain firearms or war materials.
  • Foreign lottery or raffle tickets.
  • Imitation coins or printed material that resembles real currency.
  • Equipment or instruments for manufacturing coins.
  • Opium in the form of gum or for smoking.
  • Obscene brochures, books, newspapers, magazines, or postcards containing negative portrayals of the country’s culture, civilization, or dignity.
  • Plants, seeds, or animals as determined by the Ministry of Agriculture.


  • Panama’s use of the US dollar
  • 100% foreign ownership is allowed
  • No restrictions on the transfer and repatriation of capital and profits
  • Legislation guaranteeing juridical security, fiscal and tax incentives for investors
  • No major fiscal difficulties as a result of global economic downturns, and with no bailouts
  • Economic stability, with record low inflation and sustained economic growth
  • Strategically located on the major world shipping route provided by the Panama Canal
  • A hub for air travel
  • One of the best countries for telecommunications connectivity in the world
  • Low unemployment

Panama is also Latin America’s leading recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a percentage of GDP. In 2013, total FDI was USD 4.7 billion, which represented 9% of the economy. The Panamanian government also offers several different tax incentive programs, varying by sector and commercial activity.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 3.71 million
  • Population growth rate: 1.3% annual change
  • GDP: $52 billion (GDP Growth: 5.8%, GDP per capita: $13,300)
  • GNI per capita: 19,300 PPP dollars
  • Unemployment: 4.5%
  • Inflation: 0.1%
  • Main export partners: USA 24.7%, Canada 16.2%, EU 15.1%, Costa Rica 8.8%, Netherlands 5.7%, Hong Kong 5.2%
  • Export goods: gold, iron and steel waste, bananas, shrimp, sugar, pineapples, watermelon
  • Languages: Spanish (official), Panamanian English Creole, British English, Chinese, Arabic, and French Creole.

GROWTH: Panama has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past decade. The economy grew by an average of 8.1% annually from 2006 to 2015. In 2009, despite the global downturn, the economy continued to grow at 3.9%. GDP growth for 2014 was 7.5%.


Why contend with these challenges alone? Choose an experienced Cargo and Logistics Services Provider that has been there before, having overcome these obstacles multiple times successfully. LAC removes the mystery and bridges the gaps for its clients, with a no-nonsense approach that gets shipping and moving services to or from Panama done right.

For expert advice and to get the process started, call us today at 1-877-522-7447 or E-mail

LAC: the reliable resource you need when doing business with Panama!

Contact us now!