Panama Canal Commission:

Revenue Forecasting and Marketing Efforts

NSIAD-90-278BR: Published: Sep 14, 1990. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Panama Canal Commission's (PCC): (1) revenue forecasting methodology; and (2) marketing efforts to promote the use of the canal.

GAO found that: (1) the PCC revenue forecasting model was sound and thorough; (2) the model corrected problems with the previous methodology, allowing PCC to manipulate data quickly and easily, thereby permitting it to react to changing economic conditions; (3) because the revenue-forecasting model was less than 2 years old, it was difficult to determine whether it would consistently produce more accurate forecasts than the prior methodology; (4) the marketing group's primary mission was to maintain existing clients; (5) PCC reported that it was extremely difficult to attract new business because of competition from other transportation sources, changes in world trade patterns, and slow development of new trade routes; and (6) PCC did not maintain data on specific ports of origins or destinations of cargo passing through the canal, and therefore it could not identify the amount of cargo passing through the canal.

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