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Panama Canal



Source: WEF

A severe drought in Panama is causing extensive delays for cargo ships transiting the Panama Canal, a vital route connecting almost 2,000 ports across 170 countries.


About the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is an 82 km artificial waterway in Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and dividing North and South America. It allows ships to avoid the lengthy and dangerous voyage around Cape Horn. Panama itself forms an isthmus (a narrow land strip connecting two larger landmasses) between North and South America.

This differs from straits, which are narrow waterways joining larger bodies of water, like the Strait of Gibraltar.

The canal lifts ships through locks to Gatun Lake and then lowers them. Originally under French control in the late 1800s, the United States completed the project in 1914 and managed it until 1999 when Panama took over. It’s now operated by the Panama Canal Authority.