China to Rival Panama Canal with Colombian Rail for Ocean Freight

China to Rival Panama Canal with Colombian Rail for Ocean Freight

For almost a century, the Panama Canal has created a monopoly for connecting ocean transport between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. However now, China has proposed to construct a rail in Colombia that would rival the Panama Canal, operating throughout the isthmus that connects North and South America. This “dry canal”, as it’s being referred to as, would join the Atlantic coast port of Cartagena with the Pacific port of Buenaventura.

Can China do it? The proposed rail can be 136 miles lengthy, cross 3 mountain ranges, undergo harmful and distant areas, and value $7.5 billion {dollars}. Regardless of all this, it will appear China can do it. China has the assets and rail building expertise essential to make this proposal a actuality. Contemplate the road they constructed connecting Tibet to the remainder of China over miles and miles of continuous permafrost. China has additionally constructed rails or made offers to construct rails in different nations like Angola, Algeria, South Africa, and Iran.

Will this “dry canal” actually rival the Panama Canal? Many consider it is not going to. There’s a rail choice in Panama already for crossing the isthmus. The price of unloading cargo—even of normal container sizes—from a ship at one port, loading it on the rail, unloading it from the rail, and loading it onto one other ship on the port on the opposite facet tends to be extra pricey than the canal tolls. Load capability shouldn’t be as nice for a rail system as it’s for ships crossing the Panama Canal, particularly contemplating the growth of the Panama Canal at present occurring. Nonetheless, it appears unlikely that opening one other route choice from the Atlantic to the Pacific wouldn’t stir the waters.

Some argue that China has no intent of competing towards the Panama Canal with their rail plans in Colombia. Maybe China has no business intentions with the rail they’re constructing. Maybe the rail is solely meant for the convenience of transporting giant portions of coal from the mines of Colombia to China. China is the quantity two commerce accomplice of Colombia, behind the US. Little doubt with this rail, China will likely be in prime place to turn into Colombia’s primary commerce accomplice and make their entry to all of Latin America a little bit simpler.

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