Widening the Panama Canal

By Deane Barker on June 19, 2006

Plan to enlarge Canal stirs up controversy: Interesting article on the future of the Panama Canal. They’re hoping to add a third “lane” to handle ships bigger than “Panamax” class.

Shippers bringing toys or furniture from China to ports on the East Coast of the USA sometimes must loiter for days before transiting the 50-mile route. The largest cargo carriers, known as “post-Panamax” ships, are too wide to fit through the 92-year-old canal at all.

[…] the canal authority is proposing a $5.25 billion project that would double the canal’s capacity by adding a deeper, wider third lane.

According to the article, a typical container ship will pay $65,000 in fees to get through the canal. It’s based on size, because in 1936, some guy paid 36-cents to swim it.



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