Suez gets edge on Panama Canal

Tuesday, November 11 2014 @ 04:32 pm EST

Contributed by: Don Winner

New data from London-based maritime research and advisory organisation Drewry Maritime Research states that carriers sailing from Asia to the US East Coast are using the Suez Canal as opposed to the historically utilized Panama Canal.

It is the first time in history the Panama Canal has not been the preferred route for the majority of shippers on said trade route, with Drewry noting that 52% of all active ship capacity on the route traveled through the Suez Canal.

The key driver bringing shipping lines to the Suez Canal is the Egyptian canalís ability to facilitate mega-ships, according to the Journal of Commerce.

However, the Panama Canal is nearing the completion of an expansion project that is anticipated to be operational by 2016.

Once the expanded Panama Canal is open, mega-ships will likely opt to use Panamaís shorter route in comparison to Suez on the Asia-US East Coast trade route.

Although with ever increasing ship sizes, and Panama only open to 13,000 TEU ships after expansion, the biggest of the mega-ships may still opt for Suez, or even the prospective Nicaragua Canal if the ambitious project can be realized.

Editor's Comment: The Panama Canal Authority is already talking about the possibility of starting yet another expansion - even before the one that's currently underway is even completed.

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