Panama – The unsung hero of International Trade

The Expanded Panama Canal is a Success

The expanded Panama Canal has proved to date, to be nothing but a success. August 15th,1914 saw the ‘SS Ancon’ pass through Panama Canal, a ship that would be the first of thousands in what is it to be a prosperous 102-year history.


Panama Canal is a 48-mile waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean; it’s often referred to as one of the greatest feats of engineering ever seen. ThePanama Canal is absolutely indispensable to the efficiency of global trade. To put the canals importance into perspective, pre-Panama Canal saw ships from New York to San Francisco having to travel down to the tip of South America and back up again, even though they sit on the same latitudinal lines. The Panama Canal saves a route from New York to San Francisco a staggering 7’782 miles.


However, up until June 26th, 2016, the canal had seen little expansion, meaning as international trade continued to grow throughout history, the capacity of the canal stood still. The newly built lane has doubled the capacity of the Panama Canal by adding a new lane of traffic allowing for a larger number of ships, and increasing the width and depth of the lanes and locks allowing larger ships to pass. Ships over 1 and a half times the size are now passing through, which can carry twice as much cargo.


The Expansion project has seen:

• Built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavated new channels to the new locks.

• Widened and deepened existing channels.

• Raised the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.


It is estimated that the extension will have cost Panama In the region of $5.25 billion, a significant sum of money. However, it is also predicted that the canal will be financially profitable with the ACP anticipating a 12% internal rate of return. In addition to financial gain, it’s predicted that the canal will be beneficial to employment rates, with the 9 years of construction seeing between 35’000-40’000 people employed, and political bodies also believe the economic rewards of the extension will see more jobs created in a more prosperous economy.


Published by

Shanghai Metal Corporation

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