Panama Canal Expansion

After a decade of theorising and debate, the reality of how Panama Canal expansion will impact shipping is finally at hand.

The ‘neo-Panamax’ era is about to begin, and it is increasingly obvious that the shipping effects will be far more acute in some sectors than in others. In the container shipping market, major changes are already afoot. Liner operators are upgraded their vessels immediately to take advantage of the expanded locks. In other sectors, such as LNG and LPG, the use of the expanded Panama Canal – or the decision to bypass it – will be driven by cargo interests, not vessel operators.

News & Analysis

The signing of the maritime treaty in November 2017. On left, Panama Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat; on right, China Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng
22 Jun 2018
Panama’s maritime authority is enhancing its co-operation with China on both the seafaring and finance fronts.
28 Dec 2015
As the historic Panama Canal expansion project nears the finish line, public rhetoric from locks construction contractor GUPC is becoming increasingly adversarial, suggesting a re-flaring of tensions behind the scenes and a rising risk of further delays.

Commentary

After a very strong start, how much room does the expanded Panama Canal have to grow cargo volumes before it needs to build even larger locks?