Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
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
  • Md. Democrats offer ruinous agenda
    Md. Democrats offer ruinous agenda

    I wonder where the rulers in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates are going to get the money to fund what Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller described as the Democratic agenda ("Senate panel rewrites Hogan's charter school law," March 26)? I guess they will do what they do every...

  • Don't shed tears for Bergdahl
    Don't shed tears for Bergdahl

    Your editorial regarding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is typical of The Sun's liberal agenda ("Hero or traitor?" March 27). So much concern for the deserter, but nary a word about the six men who gave their lives trying to rescue him.

  • Black-on-black crime is not just a problem for blacks
    Black-on-black crime is not just a problem for blacks

    Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has sent a message to African-American men to step up and take responsibility for guiding black youths away from violence ("City leaders call on black men to mentor youths and stop the violence," March 25).

  • Maryland needs renewable energy
    Maryland needs renewable energy

    The first day of spring ironically delivered another snowstorm in Maryland ("Before spring, snow threatens Baltimore once more," March 19). Fluke weather patterns are expected to become more severe as climate change persists. The extreme shifts from warm sunny days to cold, wintry ones takes...

  • Supergirl for the modern era
    Supergirl for the modern era

    Great news that comic book publishers will be adding to the existing line-up of female superheroes ("Supergirl power," March 27)!

  • The downside of China's 'thriving' economy
    The downside of China's 'thriving' economy

    Like many individuals and corporations, Charles Campbell equates success with money ("Why China is passing us up," March 25).

Comments
Loading