The Panama Canal Authority’s Oscar Bazan (left) is delivering a keynote presentation on how the $5.25 billion canal expansion project will impact supply chain networks. Highlights from his talk are below.
8:20 a.m. — The Panama Canal was first conceptualized by the King of Spain in the mid-1500s. It would be more than 360 years before it was actually built and opened in 1914.
8:25 a.m. — More than 1.1 million container vessels have passed through the canal since its opening 98 years ago.
8:30 a.m. — The existing canal locks can accommodate vessels carrying up to 5,100 TEUs. After the expansion, wider and deeper ships carrying as much as 14,000 TEUs will be able to pass through.
8:35 a.m. — Work on the canal expansion began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2014.
8:42 a.m. — Shipbuilders are doing their part in developing and manufacturing new 13,000+ TEU vessels that will be ready by the time the expansion is complete.
8:45 a.m. — Norfolk is the only U.S. port that can currently accommodate these larger vessels. The Port of New York/New Jersey will be able to do so by 2017. Charleston and Savannah are also considering expansions.
8:50 a.m. — The Panama Canal Authority has developed a cost model to control costs for shippers and keep the Panama Canal route competitive with other global trade routes.
8:55 a.m. — The Panama Canal route (via East Coast ports) will be a competitively priced alternative to West Coast Ports for Chicago and much of Texas once the expansion is complete.
9 a.m. — 89% of RILA supply chain executives say the expansion will have a positive impact of global trade.
9:05 a.m. — The expansion will result in an overall reduction of long-haul intermodal rail loads to the U.S. East Coast … and potentially the Midwest.