Panama Canal:  Future Competition?

The Panama Canal is undergoing a $5.2 billion expansion which is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2015. (Photo: ACP)

Panama Canal experts Paul Bingham, Robert McMillan and Richard Wainio.

The Panama Canal, which has been impacted by the sluggish US economy, faces possible future competition from several rival projects.


Plans for a $40 billion canal in Nicaragua could impact future Panama Canal traffic and business if it is actually implemented, experts say. Meanwhile, the Panama Canal also faces possible competition from a planned $12 billion dry canal in Guatemala.

“If the rival projects took off, they may remove the need for additional expansion of Panama Canal capacity,” says Paul Bingham, Economics Practice Leader in the transportation division of infrastructure consultants CDM Smith. “The impact would almost certainly be to take market share and revenue from the Panama Canal.”

The possible competition comes as the 48-mile (77 kilometer) waterway, which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,  is facing weaker demand because of the sluggish US and global economy and delays in its $5.2 billion expansion program.

“A Nicaragua canal could have a significant impact on the Panama Canal with ...

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Keywords: ACP, centennial, China, delay, Guatemala, HKND, Maersk, Nicaragua, Panama

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