The project area, known as Coco Solo Sur was a U.S. Navy Seaplane Base during the World War II era. The base was reverted back to Panama under the Torrijos-Carter treaties of 1977.
During the 1980's, the area was used as a storage facility and distribution center of vehicles for Latin America. Wanting to avoid the additional costs and logistics associated with moving the cars to and from Cristobal, it is decided to build a Ro-Ro (Roll-On/Roll-Off) berth at their distribution/storage facility and thereby directly import and export their vehicles on site. Thus, the original concept of MIT was born.
By August of 1993, with the entry of the multi-national SSA Marine, the original Ro-Ro berth concept grew into a project to create a world-class container transshipment facility, fully equipped with over 800 meters of berth, ship-to-shore gantry cranes and modern terminal management computer systems. The total cost of the project up to date is in excess of US$650,000,000.00