Expanded Panama Canal opens!

panamacanalThe newly expanded Panama Canal opened to much fanfare this past weekend:

  • The first ship that made it through the locks and completed the 50-mile journey from Atlantic to Pacific was the Chinese-owned Cosco Shipping Panama
  • 85 percent of the 166 reserved crossings scheduled for the next three months are for container ships. Container cargo accounts for nearly 50 percent of the canal’s overall income
  • However, factors that can negatively affect the canal’s traffic and include global shipping due to the drop in oil prices, an economic slowdown in China, which is the canal’s second-largest customer, and other factors that have hit the waterway’s traffic and income
  • While canal authorities anticipate increasing commerce between Asia and ports on the U.S. East Coast, it’s not at all settled that all those ports are ready to handle the huge New Panamex-class cargo ships

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