Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Panama Canal expansion won't have much impact on Baltimore's port [Letter]

I don't know where commentator Gene E. Bigler got the idea that Panama is handling eight million containers "mostly to U.S. consumers this year" ("Panama Canal expansion critical to the U.S.," March 18).

The canal expansion project will have only a minor impact on existing container traffic to Baltimore from Asian nations. Traffic that originates in Hong Kong and ports to its south will continue to use Suez via Maersk Line and other carriers sailing container ships that are already too large to transit the new locks in Panama.

Time sensitive containers will continue to use West Coast ports and unit trains to serve the Baltimore-Washington region and other East Coast destinations. For container traffic, the Panama Canal improvements in 2016 will be a Y2K event. Keep in mind that no one yet knows what rates Panama will have to charge to pay for this $7 billion project.

As Mr. Bigler points out, the Panamanians have done a good job for conventional bulk and breakbulk shipping. But none of the "Panamax" container ship routes or lines were particularly profitable. About 100 of those container vessels are now in lay-up or on the way to the scrap yards before their time.

Gulf ports will eventually benefit from LNG exports via Panama (if permitted to transit at a reasonable price). Taxpayers owe former President Jimmy Carter a $7 billion debt of gratitude for giving the canal back to Panama.

Bill Kelly

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Mfume: Sun is too quick to judge Mosby

    Mfume: Sun is too quick to judge Mosby

    Last November Baltimore elected the youngest prosecutor of any major American city, and Marilyn Mosby has brought a balanced approach and a steady hand to the work of restoring a sense of justice and civility to the city's criminal justice system.

  • Dirt bikers aren't the only danger on two wheels

    Dirt bikers aren't the only danger on two wheels

    The dirt bikers aren't Baltimore's only problem ("A '12 O'Clock Boys' theme park for Baltimore," Aug. 27). There are dangers from some other motorcyclists who display their "skills" on the Jones Falls Expressway, generally late at night or at 2 in the morning. Some of these cyclists must picture...

  • Field hockey's history in Arundel goes back even farther

    Field hockey's history in Arundel goes back even farther

    While I have the greatest respect and admiration for Lil Shelton and her accomplishments at Severna Park High School ("Girls' sports power reflects long-term national trend," Aug. 25), I feel the need to set the record straight. Field hockey was introduced to Anne Arundel Country in 1954 at Glen...

  • Think the Red Line is expensive? What about all those cars?

    Think the Red Line is expensive? What about all those cars?

    Ben Groff very articulately expressed many of the same sentiments I have about the Red Line and transit in general ("Why killing the Red Line was a mistake," Aug. 25). His emphasis on the negative aspects on car-based transportation is especially significant. I would add that the apparent convenience...

  • Shouldn't we read the Iran deal before supporting it?

    Shouldn't we read the Iran deal before supporting it?

    I find it un-American that your paper and many in Congress can apparently make a decision to agree with the proposed Iran nuclear deal without reading it or knowing what the side agreements the UN made contain. You are all taking the word of people that have a record of distorting the facts or...

  • A win-win approach for Md. clean air regulations

    A win-win approach for Md. clean air regulations

    As Timothy Wheeler recently reported ("Hogan smog plan clears hurdle after being tweaked to help power plants," Aug. 5) the controversy over Maryland's air quality continues to pit the health of our citizenry against the wishes of power plant operators. Under former Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Maryland...

Comments
Loading
75°