The construction delays at the Canal’s project will get sorted out, but Ports, Shipping Companies Retool Before Panama Canal Expansion
Project Delays, Cost Overruns Haven’t Halted Global Efforts
Here in the USA,
Miami is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to deepen its harbor and build an underwater tunnel for trucks carrying goods for bigger ships that would use the new canal. The shipping publication, Alphaliner, said 214 of the so-called neo-Panamax ships, as long as four football fields and 161 feet wide, were ordered with sights set on a wider, deeper canal. The booming liquefied natural gas industry in the U.S., which is counting huge ships transporting gas to energy-hungry Asia, has predicated investments on large volumes passing through the canal.
Even citrus growers in Florida are seeking to get their products to Asia and the Pacific coast of Latin America on bigger ships at lower cost, by using a refurbished canal, said Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture.
The booming liquefied natural gas industry, for instance, has been investing heavily to build facilities in the U.S. for natural gas to be exported to Asia. Most LNG ships are today too big for the canal. But the U.S. Department of Transportation said in a November study that 90% of the tankers carrying the liquefied gas would be able to use a refurbished waterway, which connects the Caribbean with the Pacific and saves ships a 5,000 mile voyage.
Let’s hope the Canal’s expansion goes as scheduled.