Panama Canal Expansion: A Game Changer

The Panama Canal expansion is seen as a “game changer” even in Costa Rica, according to an article in the Tico Times (a Costa Rica English language paper – yes we range far and wide to bring you the news – “Panama Canal expansion a ‘game changer’”).

The $5.25 billion expansion will result in larger locks and deeper and wider channels, and “will nearly triple per-ship cargo capacity from the current 4,400 20-foot container limit to 12,600 containers.” The article continues:

Other ports in the Americas lack the capacity to handle vessels loaded with that many boxes, so the race is on to deepen and widen harbors and upgrade port equipment in time for Panama’s much hyped canal opening.

The United States’ leading 13 ports have slated $8.57 billion for terminal improvements and channel deepening projects in the next five years, according to a report by real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

“The Panama Canal … is stimulating a great deal of infrastructure investment and attention into the port systems, particularly along the East Coast of the U.S., the mid-Atlantic coast and certain areas of the Gulf Coast as well,” Carver said.

He added that on the U.S. West Coast, which has long held a market advantage for handling ships from Asia, the expansion is forcing ports there “to really step up their game to remain competitive.”

Are West Coast Governors, legislatures, Ports and freight interests prepared to step up their game?

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