Panama Canal Expansion: Impact on Southeastern Ports

We just wrote about the Panama Canal Expansion project (also called the Third Set of Locks Project) and its likely impact on Florida. The expansion, scheduled to be completed in April of 2015, will double the capacity of the Panama Canal by creating a new lane of traffic and allowing more and larger ships to transit. The expansion will create demand for ports to handle post-Panamax ships, which will be much larger in size. The U.S. ports of Baltimore, Norfolk, and Miami are now ready for these larger vessels, and other ports are undergoing renovations in order to accommodate these post-Panamax ships.

Southeastern ports are rushing to prepare for the completion of the Panama Canal Expansion Project. Southeastern ports along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast are competing for a part of the anticipated increase in volume. Many of these ports are not currently equipped to handle the higher container volumes and “post-Panamax” ships. They are all in the process of investing in expansion projects such as dredging access channels. and adding or updating container facilities in order to prepare for these new massive ships. These expansion projects are necessary as the Southeastern ports simply cannot afford to miss this opportunity allowing them to bring major business to their regions.

If Southeastern ports such as Charleston, Savannah, and even landlocked Atlanta are successful in updating their port facilities to accommodate the changes brought by the expansion, then these ports can expect a great increase in future business opportunities regarding importing and exporting goods at a higher volume.



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