Worldwide Concern Over Canal Expansion Conflict

The threat of paralyzing the work of the third set of locks of the Panama Canal is keeping maritime and port operators around the world on tenterhooks.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The conflict between the construction consortium (GUPC) headed by the Spanish Sacyr and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), which originated over the demand for the first payment of $1.6 billion in cost overruns and the ACP's rejection of that claim, threatens to extend the opening of the expanded waterway, through which 5% of the world's maritime cargo passes, to beyond 2015.

Dependent on that date of inauguration are adaptation projects in ports throughout America, especially the United States, the Canal's main client, in order to receive post panamax vessels which will transit the expanded canal.

An article in Prensa.com reports that "The port terminals in Central America, the Caribbean, South America and particularly the eastern United States, are adapting facilities, believing that they are part of the route to be taken by megaships, towards Asia, which will pass through the expanded Canal. Transiting through the Panama Canal is more than 5% of world trade and up to 30% of the cargo moving to and from the ports of the region. With the expansion this amount is expected to double. The capacity of the sea route will increase from 300 million tonnes to 600 million with the new locks."

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More on this topic

Transit through the Expanded Panama Canal

August 2016

There has been an increases in traffic of neopanamax ships, which now produce revenues of $68 million, as well as extra maritime services that used to go through the Suez Canal.

An article on Prensa.com reports that "...  During the first two months of operation of the expanded Canal 130 neopanamax ships were reported to have passed through, most of them container ships, bringing in total revenues of $68 million.  Since the expanded Canal opened on June 26, business has been growing, with 2 new services coming from the Suez Canal, said the Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano."

Maersk and the Expanded Canal

April 2016

The shipping company has drawn attention to the impact that the Canal expansion will have on its operations noting that there are still only a few ports that can receive Post Panamax vessels.

The two routes that the Danish shipping company Maersk Line ceased to operate in 2013 were of great importance for Latin America, whose operations account for 10% of the company's total sales worldwide.

Better Logistics for Trade with Asia

January 2016

The arrival of the first ships with capacity of 13 TEUs at the Panamanian port of Balboa is evidence of how shipping services are changing, a prelude to the opening of the expanded Canal.

Trips taken by cargo bound for East Asia with two major shipping companies in the world, Maersk Line and MSC, will be shorter, thanks to the port at Balboa now being able to manage ships carrying over 13,000 TEUs's, a capacity which is close to the amount carried by ships which will pass through the expanded Canal.

Post-Panamax Vessels and Ports in the Region

November 2012

It is not only the ports on the South and East Coast of the U S that have to make provisions for the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Ports in the Caribbean and Latin America will also have a before and after the expansion of the Canal.

Post-Panamax ships require more depth in the access channels to ports and their docks, and this means adjustments to infrastructure need to be made early enough in order to stay in the market as shipping destination, after the inauguration of the new Canal in 2014.

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