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A Retrospective on the Panama Canal

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The Recent Article

panama canal retrospectiveThere was an article recently that showcased the Chief of the Panama Canal reflecting on the previous year after the expansion. Of the points he spoke about, he touched upon the $5.5 billion expansion and the results of the expansion.

His Major Talking Points

The New Capacity – The canal added lane with longer/larger locks. These allow longer ships to move through as was previously not possible while also allowing smaller ships to pass through quicker.

The Big Ships – The OOCL France which is as long as the Eiffel Tower traversed the canal on May 24th and contained 13,926 TEU’s of Cargo. Disney’s Cruise Line moved with its 2700+ passengers through the canal on April 29th.

The Narrowing Bottom Line

The Canal is a Shortcut – “The Canal is more competitive when oil is above $50 a barrel, above $55 it’s very competitive.” While as of writing today it is $46 per barrel, the competition to traverse the canal will only increase over time as oil prices dither constantly and are expected to rise even more in the next few months and years.

CarrierAs ships have become larger and longer the expansion of the canal was a necessary step. There would only be so much time until someone made a better shortcut. While the investment hasn’t made its money back yet, it has cemented the Panama Canal as the definitive shortcut through the Americas.


We are always pushing to keep our pulse on the news of the industry and of the technology that is pushing our trade further. We can’t help but wonder in the next few decades if the canal will be as useful as it is today with the concepts of drone warehouses and solar powered vessels. What are your thoughts on the matter? Leave a comment below or give us a call and talk about it.

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