The Panama Canal Expansion, the biggest construction effort since work started on the canal in 1904, will more than double the capacity of this major world shipping lane. Now enabling 1,200-foot-long ships to pass, and greatly enhancing shipping opportunities between Asia and the U.S., the expansion will expand the capacity of freight services and international moving services. Canal expansion will be one of the major forces to change world shipping in the near future.
The expansion has opportunities to revitalize the region, and bring new international attention to Panama. Construction alone on the expansion has created 30,000 jobs. Adding to that the ongoing labor demands of increased commerce, and individuals and businesses have plenty of reasons to relocate to Panama or choose it as a headquarters for Latin American operations. Panama offers special incentive laws and corporate tax benefits. It is easy to obtain immigration visas for employees, who may also have their income taxes waived if certain criteria are met. High quality of life, low cost of living and a temperate climate all make Panama an attractive career destination. A unique retirement plan offers duty-free purchases and even discounts on international moving services.
Even without the expansion, the Canal has seen an increase in traffic that proves its role as a vital shipping lane. Over 340.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) passed through the canal in 2015, the culmination of steady, yearly increases. Container ships, followed by dry bulk, liquid bulk and car carriers, were responsible for most of the 2015 spike. With expanded capacity, this growth can only continue, and the canal will remain a vital component in the shipping system worldwide.