A new project widening the Panama Canal will allow bigger cargo vessels to pass through it. That promises to rewrite the rules on shipments to and from Asia.
Those big ships will have easier access to Gulf and East Coast ports. Houston, Mobile, Jacksonville and Savannah reportedly plan to renovate their ports to handle them. Other ports will undoubtedly follow suit.
That could make Gulf and East Coast ports more cost-competitive with West Coast ports on grain shipments to Asia. "It could be a game changer,” says Ken Eriksen, Informa Economics vice president for transportation.