The Panama Canal Authority is responding to the necessity to accommodate larger ships through the canal; a 5.2 billion dollars investment to deepening and widening the canal is in place and expected to conclude on August 2014. The new infrastructure will affect today shipping dynamics and only a few ports on the East Coast of the United States will be ready to receive the post-Panamax vessels; in this document we will discuss what the Miami (FL), Jacksonville (FL) and Freeport TX) are doing to get ready.
Trade Route Implications of Widening the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is about to celebrate its 100 years operations with a 5.2 billion expansion that will allow a more efficient transit from the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean; the expansion includes deepening and widening the entrances & navigation channels to allow 12,000 TEUs ships to pass; plus and an additional set of locks. Global changes are expected including higher volume of goods from Asia to US and Canada; new markets opportunity for raw materials sourcing; cost-effective routes options and shorter times to mention some of them. (Accenture, 2011,page 3 & 4). The US East Coast will be definitely impacted; different ports are already working on its expansions but we cannot tell by certain how, where and what type of impact will land for sure; the fact that larger ships will pass through the canal does not mean that they will stop on all ports or that the trade volume will increase and maintain. During a Seminar organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration; Rodolfo Sabonge, Vice President of Market Research and Analysis of the Panama Canal Authority explained that the principle east coast ports to be call for this larger ships are New York, New Jersey, or Norfolk. New York, New Jersey but they would have to work on the bridges issues; in the southeast ports of Charleston, Savannah and Houston where distribution centers are located; the West...
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