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By the end of 2015, big “post-panamax” containerships, carrying almost three times the load of the ships that currently ply the canal, will finally have a clear, all-water shot from Shanghai or other Asian ports across the Pacific, through the isthmus, to the North American East Coast. It’s a game-changing development that stands to shake up trading around the globe, canal officials contend. It has already kicked up a furious competitive battle between ports on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of North America, with dredgers deepening channels, builders constructing huge new freight terminals and waterfront managers touting the virtues of their own ports. An interesting analysis by Edmund Newton.

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