New Locks at Panama Canal Unlock Shipping

New Locks at Panama Canal Unlock Shipping

August 21, 2018

The opening of the new locks for the Panama Canal is impacting shipping.  Recently, the 4,000th ship passed through the new locks that opened a little over 2 years ago.

The old locks allowed a Panamax ship to pass through the locks.  A Panamax ship has a maximum Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) of 52,500.  The new locks allow a Neopanamax ship to pass through with a maximum DWT of 120,000.

Many container ships, and LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) tankers could not fit through the old locks.  The new locks will allow Neopanamax ships to save considerable time and fuel by using the Panama Canal.


Video Spotlight: LNG tanker registers 4000th Neopanamax transit through Panama Canal


This post is based on the editorial post at Port Technology.org, 4,000th Vessel Passes through New Panama Canal, July 31, 2018; and the YouTube video, LNG tanker registers 4000th Neopanamax transit through Panama Canal, by Panama Canal, July 30, 2018. Image source: Lissa Harrison.

Discussion Questions:

1.  How are the new locks impacting shipping?

Guidance: Take a look at a world map and you can quickly see the important of the Panama Canal.  Continue reading

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Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

Hyperloops: Speeding toward the future

July 30, 2018

Hyperloops are vaccum-sealed tubes predicted to enable high-speed transportation. Preliminary feasibility and environmental impact studies are set to begin for our nation’s first hyperloop route, which would go from Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago in less than 45 minutes while traveling up to 700 mph.

These speeds are possible because only a small amount of propulsion is required to push the transport pod through the near vacuum environment inside the tube.  Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to have a working prototype system by 2023, with the Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago route completed sometime after that.

At first the route will likely be used to move freight, but later it could move people as well.  Other studies are also in the works for other locations, but this project is about a year of two ahead of other similar projects.

Interest in hyperloops has been growing for several years. Engineering students flocked to SpaceX earlier this month for the company’s third hyperloop competition, competing for top speed on the company’s private track. Elon Musk has called hyperloops a “5th mode of transportation.”

This post is based on the TribLive.com article, Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago hyperloop route set to begin preliminary studies, by Aaron Aupperlee, June 26, 2018; and Continue reading

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