The boom in Pacific Basin trade--coupled with surging demand for Alaskan Oil--meant that last year Panama Canal tolls and tonnage hit record levels. The figures available for transits so far this year are also encouraging, and they show that Altantic/Pacific and Pacific/Atlantic trade is still buoyant and has not yet been affected by the downturn in world industrial activity. Oil, which is dealt with in detail, now accounts for 40% of canal business. But undoubtedly one of the most interesting aspects of canal development lies with dry bulk. An investigation of shipping movements, for example, shows that a huge amount of tonnage ballasted through the waterway last year seeking business in the Pacific. Equally fascinating are the large number of owners who found it more economic to transit the canal with full cargoes but low bunkers; they topped up with fuel on the US West Coast for their voyages across to Japan. In addition to discussing dry bulk carrier and tanker traffic through the Canal in 1979, the article examines the strategic importance of the Canal as an international waterway. It further examines the economic importance of the Canal to Panama; that country's economic recovery since 1977 is due to the Canal Treaties with the U.S. The article concludes with a discussion of Panama's future plans for the Canal and the possibility of a second canal.

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    Lloyd's of London Press Limited

    Sheepen Road
    Colchester, Essex CO3 3LP,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1980-5

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  • Accession Number: 00314759
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 1980 12:00AM