Panama Canal News

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.


Fiscal year 2013 brought a slight decrease in Panama Canal tonnage, in part because of continuing weak demand in the United States and Europe and the general slowdown of emerging market economies. Canal traffic was also impacted by the maritime industry’s shift toward larger, more energy-efficient vessels, which are unable to transit the canal until the expansion program is completed.

News & Analysis

Source: Panama Canal Authority
21 Jul 2014
The first gates of the Panama Canal expansion program have been moved to the new locks complex on the Atlantic side, marking another milestone in the $5.25 billion project.
09 Jul 2014
The Panama Canal Authority, which earlier this year dismissed the possibility of an alternate canal through Nicaragua, had a more cautious reaction this week following the Nicaraguan government’s approval of plans by a Hong Kong-based company for the proposed $40 billion canal.
Work on the current Panama Canal expansion project.
26 Jun 2014
The Panama Canal Authority is already thinking beyond the limits of the current expansion project.
17 Jun 2014
The decision today by the world’s three biggest container lines to scrap plans to implement the P3 Network this fall is likely to boost container traffic through the Panama Canal.
11 Jun 2014
The second of four shipments of new rolling gates for the Panama Canal Expansion Program arrived at the canal yesterday afternoon after nearly one month at sea.
08 May 2014
Construction workers in Panama ended a two-week nationwide strike today, allowing the expansion of the Panama Canal to resume, Reuters reports.
Lake Nicaragua
14 Mar 2014
Manuel Coronel Kautz, the president of the Nicaraguan Canal Commission, has announced that the traditionally proposed Nicaragua canal route up the San Juan River...
From left: Tay Yoshitani, Port of Seattle; Robert Leachman, University of California, Berkeley;John Wheeler, South Carolina State Ports Authority; Michael Murphy, CenterPoint Properties; Richard Smith, Sears Holdings Corp.
10 Mar 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Retailers and other beneficial cargo owners that import merchandise from Asia make their routing decisions based on where the goods are produced, the U.S. destination, the cost of transportation, the value of the cargo and its sensitivity to transit time.
28 Feb 2014
The deadline for completing the $5.25 billion Panama Canal’s expansion project has been postponed by another three months under a tentative refinancing agreement between the Panama Canal Authority and the engineering consortium that is building the new locks.
21 Feb 2014
The consortium building the new locks at the Panama Canal resumed work on the project on Thursday after a two-week suspension in a dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns.