Panama Canal Expansion: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by PLS Logistics July 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM

History of the Panama Canal

During the 1800s, businessmen didn’t have an efficient or quick way to ship goods between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The British proposed a canal through Nicaragua that was never built and the French attempted to build a canal through Panama but evacuated the project due to fatal diseases. Despite the unsuccessful attempts, Americans were undeterred. In 1914, the United States began to build a canal in Panama. 

In 2006, the Panamanian government authorized the first major expansion of the Panama Canal since it opened in 1917. The expansion is set to be complete in 2016. (As of April 2016, the project was 98% completed). The expansion is expected to double the capacity of the canal.

The Panama Canal is an important link to global trade, accepting an estimated 5% of the world’s total cargo volume. It takes a ship about 8-10 hours to make its way through the canal. The canal serves over 140 maritime trade routes to over 80 countries. American ships use the canal the most, followed by China, Chile, Japan, Columbia and South Korea. Every vessel must pay a toll based on its size and cargo volume. Tolls for the largest ships can run as high as $450,000.

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3 Ways Megaships Provide Opportunities for U.S. Ports

Posted by PLS Logistics May 10, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Efficiency in the international cargo transportation network is a critical factor for the health of the global economy. It’s no secret that U.S. ports lack in efficiency, capacity and technology compared to Asian and European ports, especially since the arrival of megaships.

Megaships, the largest of which can hold up to 20,000 TEUs, have created congestion at U.S. ports, and they’ve revealed deeper problems with American container transportation infrastructure.

What’s Wrong with U.S. Ports?

There are many challenges that create congestion and inefficiency at U.S. ports, but major problems include:

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