The competitive position of the upgraded Panama Canal was the theme of an invited presentation by PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, delivered at the 3rd Busan International Port Conference (BIPC).
About 500 port leaders and figures in the global port and shipping industry attended the event. Theo,gave his perspective on the current and future position of the Panama Canal vis-à-vis other (competing) routes. During his presentation, he underlined that global shipping and intermodal transport networks are adapting to the growing requirements in terms of connectivity, reliability and cost efficiency
The changing world economic geography, geopolitical and strategic interests of nations and climate change are changing the global routing options available to shippers. Examples include the development of the arctic sea routes (Northern Sea Route or NSR, and the Northwestern Passage), the expansion of the Panama Canal, the recent capacity expansion of the Suez Canal, the planning or construction of new interoceanic passages (such as the Nicaragua canal), the New Silk Road and other major intercontinental land bridges (such as the Trans-Siberian railway and the Bajkal-Amur-Magistral). The growing south-south trade (Asia – Southern Africa – South America) and intensified trade between emerging economies might reduce the traditional dominance of the Suez Canal route in global shipping.
Theo cocluded by provided insight into the dynamics in the global shipping and long-distance rail networks. What developments can we expect for the next decades? How will route competition evolve in terms of transit times and transport costs? And how might these developments affect the (upgraded) Panama Canal? The focus was on maritime and land-based routing options for containerised freight flows.
Among the speakers during the event were: Jens Meier, CEO Port of Hamburg; Lim Ki-tack, New Secretary-General of IMO; Neil Davidson, Drewry Maritime Research; Kieran Ring, CEO of Global Institute of Logistics; Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA); Geraldine Knatz, former Executive Director Port of Los Angeles and former President of IAPH; and Argelis Moreno de Ducreux, Panama Canal Authority.
You may access Theo’s presentation and all speakers’ presenatations via conference website.