Panama Canal Expansion to Change Regional Shipping Networks


The opening of the expanded Panama Canal is likely to create a significant shift in regional shipping networks, particularly with regards to the size and frequency of ships coming into the US East and Gulf Coast ports, according to Port Technology. However, the wider picture indicates much more significant issues, such as those relating to risk and insurance.

“The lucrative Asia-U.S. East-Coast market,” according to Hercules Haralambides, professor of economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, “is increasingly served through the Suez Canal which has also expanded its capacity recently. To that effect, new hubs have been developed in the Mediterranean, such as Tangiers in Morocco, allowing transshipment to West Africa, while ships continue their trip over the Atlantic to the USEC.

Would the two canals compete or cooperate? Haralambides is keeping an inquisitive eye on this, particularly after the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two canal administrations.”

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