While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect and disrupt industries, jobs, lives, and economies around the world, there also seems to be a good fightback from the various industries, governments, and organisations.
Shipping lines have been offering time-sensitive cost-saving options for COVID-19 along with some relief in demurrage and detention charges etc.. Governments have been given tax breaks and business rescue packages to those most affected.
Now it seems to be the turn of the two main canals that serve the shipping and freight industry – the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.
These canals save shipowners costs in terms of the transit, in terms of fuel costs, and also assists in reducing the carbon footprint of the transiting ships but of course both these canals have toll charges for the transit of ships.
There is a tiny isthmus (narrow strip of land with sea on either side, forming a link between two larger areas of land) lying between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans connecting North and South America called the Isthmus of Panama..
This isthmus is of strategic importance to global trade and the world of shipping because it contains the country of Panama and the Panama Canal..
Panama is home to the largest ship registry in the world, whereas the Panama Canal is of huge significance to the shipping industry..
Capt.Ricardo Caballero Vega – a maritime pilot transiting ships across the Panama Canal for 25 years explains why..