According to the latest updates nearly 5 billion US dollars have been invested in the expansion of the Panama Canal which will be ready to handle a new type of ships by early 2016. These ships are being called “Post Panamax ships” (their size is twice as large as the biggest ships ever). These ships will have the capacity of handling up to 15000 containers which is 5000 containers at present.

Some of the main points which will impact Asian trade routes are:

  • Till now Asian trade route has been using ports of Los Angeles, Long beach, Oakland, and Seattle in West coast from where the containers are transported through train/trucks till the East coast.
  • Widened canal will save the costs of the shipments meant for eastern coast as they will have to travel less and can be sent directly to east ports.
  • New eastern ports which will be able to handle Panamax ships are: Miami, Norfolk, New York and Baltimore.


A new ‘ triangular trade route’ is being expected which will be :

  • Flow of Consumer goods from ASIA-NORTH AMERICA
  • Pharmaceuticals from NORTH AMERICA-SOUTH AMERICA
  • Coal and iron ore from VENEZUELA/BRAZIL-CHINA

It can thus be concluded that widening of Panama Canal will save costs for imports/exports of the North America-Asia trade route.

By Kanika Adlakha