By BRUCE SMITH
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (AP) - The $5 billion expansion of the Panama Canal will be finished in 2015 but a top official of the Canal Authority tells South Carolina business and maritime leaders that projections on what it will mean for world shipping are changing all the time.
Rodolfo Sabonge told the South Carolina International Trade Conference on Tuesday that when the project was designed, the locks were expected to be able to handle the largest ships.
But Sabonge says now that when the enlarged canal opens, about 9% of the world's container fleet will already be in larger ships unable to use the canal.
He says most projections for shipping growth during the past three or four years have been downgraded. He says that has brought more consolidation in shipping.