“I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.” – Theodore Roosevelt
The Panama Canal is one of the busiest waterways in the world. It sees significant daily shipping traffic; moving 6% of the global commerce, the Panama Canal will continue to expand to allow growth.
The 5.4 billion dollar expansion of the Panama Canal was completed June 26, 2016, and is expected to largely decrease the instances of bottlenecks, lower than average transit times by raising capacity and allow for the transit of Post-Panamax vessels. The expansion is one of the most important infrastructure projects for logistics in over a century.
The proposed plan for widening, deepening and excavating has increased the Panama Canal’s capacity to 42 vessels per day, which could be even further extended to 51 vessel’s per day by 2020. The project widened the Gaillard Cut, also the Culebra Cut which is the artificial channel in Panama forming part of The Panama Canal. It is essentially excavated gorge more than 8 miles long across the Continental Divide. There will be a further investment to acquire more robust tugs, but with this, the average Canal waters time will be significantly reduced. This means the Panama Canal will become more beneficial than ever before. Check out this video of the expansion HERE.
So how is your company going to leverage these benefits? Here is a couple of ways to take advantage of the Panama Canal expansion.
Take advantage of port cities
The Panama Canal project has resulted in billions of dollars of spending in port cities along the east coast of the U.S. To take advantage of these investments your business should consider expanding your operations or rerouting your inbound containers to the following states;
Florida – Several coastal cities have been upgrading their port systems. This makes for companies to consider cities such as Tampa Bay as a significant inbound port.
Virginia – Ports here are undergoing infrastructure improvements to fill the need caused by the canal expansion. Norfolk and Portsmouth are key because they have invested in road infrastructure to and from the port well.
South Carolina – Charleston is deepening its harbor to upgrade this strategic gateway and ease the congestion they are experiencing in an already busy port city.
U.S. companies have a unique opportunity to grow and gain market share due to the Panama Canal expansion. The project will inevitably allow the canal to offer safe, cost, effective, and reliable services for your company’s international business. Now is the time to maintain momentum by focusing on updates to infrastructure and business strategy to take advantage of the newly expanded trade route.
Take advantage of the expansion by re-creating your go to market and distribution strategies with a new focus on speed to the customer. If you have questions about doing this, contact us today.