California Very Anxious/Scared Of Panama Canal Expansion
And they have a right to be scared. The Canal Expansion is due to be completed in two years and the expansion definitely means more business for Eastern Railroads. Here is an article that looks at California's concern about the expansion:
Panama Canal expansion impact on ports discussed at California Senate panel session:
By Brian Sumers Staff Writer
Posted: 02/22/2013 07:13:42 PM PST
While it's too early to know how global trade routes will be affected by the Panama Canal expansion scheduled for competition by 2015, California ports and state leaders should prepare for increased competition, business and labor experts told a state Senate panel on Friday.
Widening the canal will allow even larger ships leaving Asia to sail directly to the East Coast without stopping in California. Because of concerns that the project could negatively affect the state's economy, Sen. Curren D. Price, Jr. convened a hearing of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development at Los Angeles City Hall.
"What if the biggest of the ships go through the Panama Canal?" the Los Angeles Democrat asked. "What does that mean for us? We need to hear what we are up against, who might be impacted and what we can do on the state level to be prepared."
The panelists generally commended Price for considering the issue, and said California must ensure the state's ports remain competitive - especially the San Pedro Bay complex of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two busiest ports. But they cautioned the global shipping industry is complex, with many different factors affecting what goods are shipped where.
Do a Wikipedia search on the Panama Canal and they will list the current toll costs for traveling a ship thru the Panama Canal. If the toll costs rise like your utilities do, its a nobrainer, and the toll cost will be irrelevant. And one of the best ways to ship goods across continents will continue to be the Panama Canal. Think about it. The Panama Canal is listed a s one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World......
They probably did not say anything about Panama raising rates on the canal traffic.They do plan on gouging the shippers as much as they can get.Soo it might not be as great a deal as it looks to be.Since they own it they can do what they want.
Panelists said containers most likely to be shipped through the new Panama Canal would be filled with so-called discretionary cargo - material bound for U.S. markets outside the Southwest. For now, much of that cargo flows through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and then onto rail cars traveling eastward. In the future, it is possible some of that cargo could flow through the canal and then be unloaded from ships in eastern ports like Houston, Texas and Savannah, Ga.
"This is an incredibly complex matter," O'Connell said. "We can anticipate some diversion but the true extent of it? It's still up in the air. Ferdinando Guerra, associate economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., told the committee the state also must prepare for increased competition from ports in Canada and Mexico, in addition to East Coast ports. Guerra said. "This is a very complex issue that involves many critical related factors that will ultimately determine how much of our market share is lost. It's not a matter of if. It's a question of how much market share we will lose."
According to materials distributed at the hearing, 40 percent of total containerized cargo entering the United States arrives at California ports.