The new expansion of the Suez Canal has officially opened, dug across the sands of the desert in record time for $8.5 Billion US.
The project involved the dredging of an adjacent waterway that now allows vessels to pass each other through most of the canal, cutting transit times (18 hours to 11 hours for southbound traffic) and theoretically allowing more ships through the canal.
The New Suez Canal is a centerpiece of plans to revitalize Egypt’s economy after years of political turmoil.
The project had initially gotten off to a rough start when Egypt issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate the construction of their new canal and someone used an image on the stamp of the Panama Canal! Ooops! When the expanded Panama Canal opens in the first quarter of 2016, the combo of Suez and Panama will deal a devastating blow to ports on the West Coast of the US, many of whom have been doing business-as-usual, arguing over expansion plans, while world trade is shifting.