The Panama Canal Expansion is Completed
Panama opened on June 26 the new expanded Canal, the largest engineering project of this century. The Panama Canal Expansion will double the canal’s capacity and bring in an anticipated hundred of millions of dollars extra per year. A third lane has been added to the canal that accommodates ships large enough to carry up to 14,000 containers. The expansion makes the Panama Canal more competitive with the Suez Canal in Egypt, shortening the one-way journey by sea from Asia to the U.S. East Coast by roughly five days and eliminating the need for a trip around Cape Horn to get to the Atlantic.
Oscar Bazán, the Panama Canal’s executive vice president for planning and business development, anticipates a 16% to 17% revenue increase next year.
The bigger ships are expected to move through the canal substantially more refrigerated cargo from South America, like fresh produce, fish, and meat, to East Coast ports. They are also poised to capitalize on the surge in U.S. natural-gas output and the interest in new export markets including Japan, South Korea, India, and China. By 2020, Mr. Bazán said he expects liquid natural gas to be one of the main products transported through the canal.
A study last year by the Boston Consulting Group and C.H. Robinson, a logistics and transportation outfit, estimated that the canal expansion could lead to as much as 10% of container traffic between East Asia and U.S. ports moving to the East Coast by 2020.