Shipping article(s)
September 16, 2015

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (SEPTEMBER 15, 2015) – Expansion of the Panama Canal is now 93% complete, Manuelo Eduardo Benitez, deputy administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, told an audience at the South Carolina International Trade Conference here today. The conference is run by the South Carolina Ports Authority. 


“We are in the last stretch,” he said. “Many of the components of this programme have been completed.” Benitez said the Pacific and Atlantic entrances have both been completed, and many other components are nearly so, including the deepening and widening of the navigation channel, and increasing the elevation of the lake, which will be filled by Panama’s rainy season, which typically runs until mid-December.


“The main element we are finishing up is the locks project itself,” he said. 


Benitez said the Canal Authority expects the expansion of the canal to bring about a redeploying and reassessing of network operations. 


“One of the main attractions of Panama is its location,” he said, noting that he expects shipping lines will send larger ships to Panama and use its ports for transhipment hub. Benitez says that the authority is initially expecting to see ships in the 9,000 to 10,000 TEU size bound for the US East Coast, noting that US West Coast ports already see that size of ships.


See the October issue of Asia Cargo News for further details.

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