The Panama Canal is blocked! The Panamanian government plans to launch the “multimodal dry canal”.

Earlier, the El Nino phenomenon led to abnormal global climate, and many countries were deeply affected, including Panama. The most severely affected is the Panama Canal, which is currently suffering from a drought crisis that has blocked maritime trade. To this end, the government of the country has launched a multi-channel intermodal transport plan. It is understood that the Panama Canal connects the Pacific and the Atlantic and is an important shipping thoroughfare, known as the “world bridge” of one of the seven wonders of the world’s engineering and also an important global trade waterway.

The Panama Canal is a lock-type canal, 26 meters higher than sea level. When ships pass through, it is necessary to use the lock to raise or lower the water level, and 200 million liters of fresh water need to be discharged into the ocean each time.

And this fresh water mainly comes from the nearby Gatun Lake and Alajuela Lake, and the water sources of these two artificial lakes mainly rely on precipitation, but due to climate change and the influence of El Nino, the local rainfall has seriously decreased, and even the rainy season is difficult to ease the problem of drought.

It is said that the Panama Canal handles about 3% of the global volume of maritime trade and 46% of the containers from Northeast Asia to the eastern coast of the United States. Under normal circumstances, there can be a traffic volume of 39 ships per day, but when severely affected, there is only a traffic volume of 24 ships per day, and recently it has recovered to 27 ships.

However, the decline in the transportation capacity of the Panama Canal has damaged the agricultural product trade between the northern and southern hemispheres, especially the agricultural products such as coffee and bananas exported from Central America, and the United States is still the largest coffee-consuming country in the world.

In addition, due to the limited passage volume, more than 100 ships queue up from time to time, resulting in congestion in maritime traffic. Some ships can only choose to detour, but this will greatly increase the transportation time and cost, so there is also an auction for the priority passage qualification ton, and the fee paid for this is as high as 40 million US dollars, ultimately leading to price increases and inflation, which is also one of the reasons for the recent increase in coffee prices.

Previously, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has invested 32 million US dollars and launched a 15-year plan. This plan allows coffee farmers to expand the planting of Robusta coffee trees near the canal, and through the reforestation of coffee trees, slow down the accumulated environmental damage over the years, including soil erosion and local river pollution, and slow down the decline in the water level of the canal. Although it is helpful, this process is slow and does not immediately solve the current dilemma.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours