Panama Canal overtakes Suez for Asia to U.S. East Coast traffic

According to market analyst Alphaliner, the Panama Canal this month regained the majority share in terms overall container transport capacity on all-water routes between the Far East and the US East Coast.

Following the completion of its multi-billion USD expansion project in late June, the Panama Canal has successfully pushed back the Suez Canal’s incursion into this trade.

The route via Egypt had grabbed a substantial market share of Far East – USEC services in the past few years, as economies of scale and vessel cascading led carriers to deploy 5,500-10,000 teu ships via the Suez Canal, rather than continuing with classic panamax units of 4,000-5,000 teu on the shorter Panama route.

Despite the increased distances for some China – USEC port pairs, the Suez route made economic sense, as the scale advantages of lager vessels often outweighed the disadvantages of the longer steaming distance.

Now that the old Panama locks’ restrictions have been lifted, the canal is making a strong comeback, regaining much of the all-water market share that was lost to the Suez Canal.

Source: Alphaliner

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