The world is most likely to witnessthree historic canal developments: doubling of Panama's capacity; construction ofa rival Atlantic-Pacific canal across Nicaragua; and thenew Suez canal turning much of the original into a two-lane marine highway. Panama is facinga number of challenges:
- Win more traffic from the rival Suez Canal.Suez is a sea-level canal with no locks or pinch-points.
- Relocation of some manufacturing fromChina to more southeasterly parts of Asia, closer to the Suez route.
- Technicalproblems with dodgy cement and machinery at the new locks
- The Nicaraguan government endorsed the route for a 278-km(173-mile) potentially sea-level (and therefore lock-free) canal connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic using the Brito River, Lake Nicaragua andrivers on the Atlantic side.
- Shipping containers from Shanghai to New York takes 26 days via Panama, versus 28 days using Suez.The firm with the biggest ships, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, has stopped sailing via Panama, and now uses Suez instead.
- See more at:http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/08/economist-explains-9