- The Panama Canal will soon be the preferred route for Asia-U.S. East Coast trade services, according to a Journal of Commerce analysis of the new services to be offered by The Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance next year.
- The enlarged Panama Canal will receive 12 weekly loops versus the four confirmed loops traveling via the Suez Canal, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.
- The widening of the Panama reversed the trend in popularity, as ships utilizing the Panama are now managing the G6 Alliance’s NYX service, which is deploying 10 ships with 10,000-TEU capability, while the Suez generally serves 8,000-TEU ships.
As more and larger vessels pass through the Panama Canal en route to the U.S., ports along the east coast are taking active measures to prepare.
New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Georgia are all expecting an influx of ships, courtesy of the expanded Panama Canal. Dredging has occurred at every port, in preparation for what each believes to be the future inflow of massive TEU container ships. And while the arrivals are not yet at a constant basis, each port expects the millions of dollars invested in harbor improvements to pay off in time.
Preparing in advance for growth is a risky endeavor, as payoff remains uncertain. Yet, shunning the possibility leads to an even riskier path, since without expansion, no growth is possible. Already, small ports appear to be falling behind on capacity handled as carriers cut down their ports of call.