The Panama Canal expansion opens on Sunday June 26 amid much fanfare and one of the worst shipping industry slumps ever. Check out these two articles. This map is from an article in the Wall Street Journal.
P.S. A reader commented on one of the articles that one can actually take a cruise on a container ship through the Suez and Panama canals (these are different cruises). Maris Freight and others, have limited cabins one can reserve on their container ships, with some cruises lasting up to 180 days. Hmm. Maybe Princess Cruises is still a better bet.
The next two pictures are from a New York Times article called : The New Panama Canal – A Risky Bet, How a $3.1 Billion Expansion Collided With Reality. The final cost far exceeded $5 billion, actually. The project was awarded to a contractor of who, the other bidders said that it could not even pour the concrete for what they quoted. There are other problems, too. The new locks are not long enough for tug boats to maneuver giant modern container ships. The latest generation of these ships can carry 18,000 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) containers, more than 22 times the maximum capacity of the 800-TEU ships introduced in 1956 !