Ohio May Reap The Benefits Of Panama Canal Expansion

The Panama Canal, one of the world’s most important waterways for trade, has been undergoing a major expansion since 2007. Once finished in early 2016, the expansion could provide big benefits to the state of Ohio.

The $5.2 billion expansion, the largest project at the canal since it was completed in 1914, includes a new set of locks and a new line of traffic that will double the waterway’s capacity. Currently, the canal can accommodate ships carrying up to 5,000 containers. The added lane and locks will allow larger ships carrying up to 13,000 containers to pass through the canal, leading to cheaper shipping to and from Asia.

All this is good news for Ohio. In an article on Cincinnati.com, economic development leaders say the larger canal will make it easier, faster and more cost-efficient for Ohio companies to ship internationally, especially to Asia. As a result, Ohio will more than likely see an increase in industrial expansion as well as intermodal transport.

"It really improves our position in terms of distribution and shipping our products internationally," said Chris Manegold, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, in the Cincinnati.com article. "We benefit in a lot of ways. It's going to be a good thing for us moving goods overseas from Ohio."