The New Panama Canal

You’ve probable heard of the Panama Canal–remember 5th grade history?

panama canal

Alright, maybe you don’t remember 5th grade history, but you must’ve heard of the canal. The Panama canal is one of the most important seaways in the world. And thanks to toll revenues, it has been a cornerstone of the Panamanian economy since it was opened a little over 100 years ago.

The history of the canal goes all the way back to 1534 and involves much drama. The canal history is replete with backroom dealings and international intrigue. It ultimately took 33 years to complete and cost the lives of over 22,000 (!) workers.

The Canal has an inspiring, sometimes tragic, often fascinating history–none of which has whole lot to do with you or your money and today. But there are a few things about the canal today that might interest you. It’s been called a “wonder of the modern world” by the American society of civil engineers.

Today the canal consists of 48 miles of artificial lakes, improved/artificial canals and 2 channels of 6 locks (3 up, 3 down). In 2008 over 14 thousand ships traversed the locks, and in 2014 revenue generated from the locks was over $2 billion. But this is not enough for the new era of global shipping. So, the canal is getting a facelift, and it’s new capacity will be fully realized this year. A third channel of locks will soon open, allowing even larger ships (some large enough to carry 14,000 containers) to pass through.

The improvements have costed over $5 billion, but this investment further secures Panama’s position as a crucial aspect of global shipping Recently there has been a worldwide trend of larger container ships moving more freight into and out of bigger, deeper ports. The widening of the Panama canal is at the forefront of this trend, in fact the canal expansion was an impetus for expansion in New Jersey “[The Panama canal] opened up the notion that we could see ships twice the size we normally do once the canal was opened. That was the real impetus for us.” Said Richard Larrabee, director of the New York and New Jersey port authorities, in a recent interview.

The canal has long been a crucial aspect of the Panama economy– making the country attractive to foreign investors. With this new expansion Panama is further securing its role as a leader of global commerce. So maybe you’re not crazy about shipping trivia or world history; but as a well-informed investor you should know about the new Panama Canal. It was inspired by a need to stay ahead of the curve, and it is inspiring a new trend in global shipping. This ultimately means security for your investment.

Investing in Panama is much more than a whim, or flight of fancy–it is a long term, smart move for your money. The expansion of the canal only further proves this, Panama is an integral part of global shipping. You ought to make Panama an integral part of your portfolio.


Evie Brooks – Panama Vacation Realty – I’ve been a real estate investor for over 23 years, both in Panama and the United States. I have also been a real estate investor-trainer and educator with the Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki organization. No matter what is drawing you to this amazing country — if you have an interest in owning real estate, retiring, investing, or becoming an expat — I can help you every step of the way!

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