Global Insider: Though Alternatives Exist, Panama Canal Has No Rivals

Global Insider: Though Alternatives Exist, Panama Canal Has No Rivals

In Colombia and Nicaragua, officials are considering building transport links between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that are being framed as alternatives to the Panama Canal. In an email interview, Jean-Paul Rodrigue, a professor in the department of global studies and geography at Hofstra University, discussed the viability of alternatives to the Panama Canal.

WPR: What are the feasible alternatives to the Panama Canal, and how do they compare in terms of cost to build and transit advantages?

Jean-Paul Rodrigue: First, it is important to underline that there are no complete alternatives to the Panama Canal -- that is, none that would be able to accommodate the full volume handled by the canal. So the discussion concerns "niche alternatives" that have the potential to capture a portion -- often small -- of the canal’s current and future traffic. They come in two categories: the existing alternatives and the potential alternatives.

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