You are here: Home » History » The Suez and Panama Canals: Two Shipping Canals of Great Importance

The Suez and Panama Canals: Two Shipping Canals of Great Importance

Can you imagine how long it would take for goods to reach their destination if the Panama and Suez canals were not built?

Could you imagine how long it would take for goods (either imported or exported) to reached its destiny if Panama and Suez canals were not built?

Even with the emergence of modern -day aircrafts that made transportation swift, ships are still and will always be of major importance for the transportation industry, specifically in the transportation of commodity goods worldwide.

First, it is much cheaper than air transportation. Energy consumption of an airplane is far greater than consumption of a ship.

Second, it is by far safer to travel on water than on air. When a plane crushes, survival rate is almost zero. Whereas, when a ship submerges, there is still a big chance to survive.

And lastly, ships can transport more cargoes than airplanes, thought ships travel much slower.

And because of these, the Suez and Panama canals play a major role in the transportation of export and import products worldwide. And both are vital too, in the tourism industry.

Map of the Suez Canal

A view of the Suez Canal

SUEZ CANAL

Suez Canal is a ship canal in Egypt and a major navigational route for world trade. It crosses the Isthmus of Suez and links the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez, an arm of the Red Sea.

The Isthmus of Suez connects the continents of Asia and Africa

IMPORTANCE:

It eliminates the long voyage around Africa for ships traveling between East and West. Thus, saving lots of money time and effort and thereby, reducing the risks of voyage from calamities like typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, and others.

REASON WHY CONSTRUCTION WAS EASIER AND CHEAPER:

It has no locks because there is virtually no difference in the levels of the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

BUILDER:

Ferdinand de Lesseps – a French diplomat and engineer.

COMPANY:

Suez Canal Company

DURATION OF CONSTRUCTION:

It took ten years to complete the canal from 1859 to 1869.

LENGTH:

The length of the canal is slightly more than 100 miles (160 km.)

COST:

$100,000,000.00

OPENED:

November, 1869

A view of the Panama Canal

PANAMA CANAL

Panama Canal is a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is an impressive engineering feat.

The Isthmus of Panama connects the continents of North America and South America.

IMPORTANCE:

It eliminates the long journey around South America for ships traveling between East and West. Thus, saving lots of money time and effort and thereby, reducing the risks of voyage from calamities like typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, and others

REASONS WHY CONSTRUCTION WAS HARDER AND MORE EXPENSIVE:

  1. The Panama Canal has locks to raise and lower ships because the water levels of Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are different.
  2. Outbreak of Yellow fever and malaria during the construction period
  3. Massive machines were needed to dig through solid rocks.
  4. Frequent landslides.
  5. Temporary railways was built to transport men and supplies
  6. Average labor force was 40,000 men.

BUILDER:

  1. Ferdinand de Lesseps began the construction but went bankrupt.
  2. The US took over through the Spooners Act of 1902 passed by the US Congress.

COMPANY:

Isthmian Canal Company

DURATION OF CONSTRUCTION:

10 years from 1904 to 19914

LENGTH:

The length of the canal is 50 miles (80 km.) half the length of Suez Canal.

COST:

$366,650,000.00. It cost more than three times as much the cost of Suez Canal.

OPENED:

1914

For more articles in History see

Top Ten Most Famous and Historically Significant Tombs in the World

Modern-day Heroes

The Most Horrifying Mass Killings of Civilians (by Bombing) in History

The Most Horrifying Political Mass Murders in History

Why is Greenland Just an Island Not a Continent?

Philippine Events with Great Impact and Significance in World History

13
Liked it
User Comments
  1. tracy sardelli

    On April 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm


    very good article.

  2. Anne Lyken-Garner

    On April 10, 2008 at 8:34 am


    This is a very interesting article about a piece of geographical history. Maybe you could submit a fix if it didn’t come out the way you wanted it to.

  3. Lucy Lockett

    On April 10, 2008 at 10:53 pm


    Life would be very different without the use of these canals.

  4. nobert soloria bermosa

    On April 10, 2008 at 11:07 pm


    you are definitely right on that Lucy,,,
    thanks a lot,,,

  5. Brian Peppers

    On April 29, 2009 at 7:16 am


    i like school

  6. jessica

    On October 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm


    i like school to who wouldn’t

  7. Melody SJAL

    On October 24, 2010 at 3:48 am


    Great canals.

Post Comment
Powered by Powered by Triond
-->