Panama Canal News

Panama Canal map

Read news and analysis on the Panama Canal, including discussions of development and reports on tolls and traffic, including ocean carrier strategies involving use of the Panama Canal for all-water service from Asia to the U.S. East Coast.

The Panama Canal Authority is currently much of the way through a multi-year expansion program that involves the construction of two new sets of locks, on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the canal, to accommodate larger ships. The project also involves the widening and deepening of navigational channels in Gatun Lake, as well as the deepening of Culebra Cut.

For specific updates and insight into the expansion project slated for completion in 2015, readers should also consult the JOC’s Panama Canal Expansion special topic.

Commentary

Canals used to be a sleepy topic. Suddenly, times have changed.

News & Analysis

The larger locks of the Panama Canal, pictured, have made it possible to reroute large amounts of cargo destined for the interior United States away from West Coast ports.
19 Sep 2016
Irrational exuberance could result in inflated expectations and overbuilding of transportation infrastructure to the US interior if the cargo volumes don’t materialize.
16 Sep 2016
“Cost, consistency and capacity will determine the gateways through which Asian imports enter the US."
The NYK Iris Leader transits the larger locks of the Panama Canal. Ships move through the new locks with the help of tugs. The old locks rely on locomotives to pull ships through them.
03 Sep 2016
The Panama Canal’s expanded locks have opened a new path for roll-on, roll-off carriers.
08 Aug 2016
Canal officials said they're "very pleased" with operations so far.
25 Jul 2016
Port touts its proximity to distribution centers along Florida's I-4 corridor.
Maersk Line will deploy the same size ships on the new Panama routing as it did via the old routing through the Suez Canal.
21 Jul 2016
Maersk Line said it would reroute one of its Suez Canal strings just days before the Panama Canal opened June 26.
13 Jul 2016
The Panama Canal has ousted the Suez Canal as the leading route for all-water container services between the Far East and the U.S. East Coast.
Sights such as this one, a Panamax ship transiting the old Panama Canal locks, are set to become increasingly rare as container lines upsize tonnage to take advantage of better economies of scale made possible by the canal's addition of newer larger locks.
12 Jul 2016
The recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal is shaking up the deployment pattern of container ships.
HMM's new ships will replace vessels with 4,600 TEUs as container lines continue to upsize the ships they send through the Panama Canal.
11 Jul 2016
Hyundai Merchant Marine plans to deploy six ships with capacities of 10,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units on an existing Asia-U.S. East Coast service via the enlarged Panama Canal.
27 Jun 2016
Cosco Shipping Panama on Sunday made the first commercial transit of the Panama Canal’s new locks.