Panama Canal

picture from panama canal

It´s not only airplanes, trucks, ships etcetera that are important for the logistics to work effectively, there is also a need for good infrastructure like roads, ports, airports and similar. The Panama Canal is a great example of infrastructure that have facilitated the shipping and this is what this blog post will be about. Buckle up people, it is time for a little lesson about the Panama Canal. If you don’t know anything about then you are now invited to learn!

The Panama Canal have played a great role in the world history. Thanks to this canal the routs for freight ships sailing between the Atlantic and the Pacific have been shortened. But over the years, the vessels have become larger and larger, and many vessels have became to large for the Panama Canal. That´s why Panama after a referendum decided to build a new broader fairway besides the existing canals.

The new Panama Canal will be able to channeling through vessels that are 366 metres long, 49 metres broad and have a maximum depth of 15,2 metres under water. The old canal could manage ships with a lengt of 294,1 metres and a width of 32,3 metres. As you can see, the capacity of the Panama Canal to accomodate the largest ships has increased. But the new canal is unfortunately still to small for the biggest ships, and therefore Panama has plans to construct another huge canal so that the worlds biggest vessels can pass through. If and when this will happen is still uncertain.

The building of the new canal has been difficult. The construction has been delayed due to construction problems and economic disputes. But hopefully the canal will be inaugurated this month. I read in a newspaper that the first passage through the new waterway would be auctioned. It will be fun to know who wins the auction and what the winning bid is. I think it will become a really high bid, what about you?

Panama Canal was opened for the first time in 1914 and SS Ancon was the first ship to officially make the transit. It was USA that finished the canal after an failed attempt by France. Building the canal was even then a large and diffucult project and it came to cost the lives of many people. Diseases like Malaria and the yellow fever took many lives as well as accidents.

The Panama Canal have contributed enormously to the economic development in the country Panama. The canal employs about 9000 people that keep up the work to transit about 30-40 vessels per day. Hopefully the new bigger canal will contribute to the economic growth in Panama.

The Panama canal is approximately 80 km long and in average it takes between 8-10 hours for a ship to pass. The speed record is 2 hours and 41 minutes and was set in 1979 by US Navy hydrofoil Pegasus.

One of the locomotives at the Panama Canal

The ships are passed through the canal with the help of locomotives. But in the new waterway the ships will be passed with the help of tugboats instead.