Since the start of the year, transiting tonnage at the Panama Canal has increased by nearly 23%. Above, a ship makes its way through the locks at the Panama Canal in August. “It’s an unprecedented increase and demand is driven by the expanded East Coast and U.S. Gulf ports that have been preparing for the new locks,” said Manuel Benitez, the Panama Canal Authority’s deputy administrator. The widened waterway means importers as far inland as Tennessee could find it cheaper to bring in Asian goods to ports like New York, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., rather than move them by rail and truck from West Coast ports, which handle about two-thirds of Asia-to-Americas trade. The Panama Canal is also helping U.S. exporters of natural gas send bigger loads to Asian markets. “We are very big users of the Panama Canal,” said Anatol Feygin, chief commercial officer of Cheniere Energy […]