Let's take a look at the features of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal, which serve as hubs for international trade and connect the trade activities of various countries.
The Suez Canal, which is 160 to 193.3 km long, about 205 m wide and 24 m deep, takes about 15 hours to transit at 8 knots and carries about 12% of the global trade volume, making it the fastest route between Africa, Asia and Europe and a direct link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, primarily for ships carrying oil and gas to Europe.
The second Suez Canal was built on a 72-km section that is part of the existing Suez Canal (total length: 190.3 km) that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Of the 72 km, 35 km are new waterways built alongside the existing canal, while the remaining 37 km are widened and deepened. The new canal allows for two-way traffic, expediting ship transit.
The Panama Canal is considered one of the seven wonders of the world in the 20th century and was a highly complicated project that utilized new construction methods and equipment to lift ships from the ocean to the top of a mountain, cut through Panama, and then take the ships back down the mountain and out to sea. It takes about 24 hours, including waiting time, to pass through the canal.
Concerned about the growing size of ships and increasing bottlenecks, the Panama Canal was completed in 2016 after nine years of construction by building a new canal next to the existing one. The new canal can accommodate 92% of the world's liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and 97% of all vessel types, significantly changing the global maritime logistics market share.
The Suez Canal is a narrow waterway, about 205 m wide and 24 m deep, which limits the size of ships that can pass through to 400 m long and 77.5 m wide, and containers up to 19,000 TEUs. Therefore, shipping companies build their ships to the size of the largest vessel that can pass through the Suez Canal, and this standard size is known as the "Suezmax".
The Panama Canal was built as a locked canal with a mountain range located in the middle of the isthmus, and does not allow ships to pass straight through a flat channel like the Suez Canal, but rather as a locked canal with a narrow, short passage through each lock. Therefore, the size of "Panamax" ships was limited to a maximum length of 294 m, 32.3 m wide, and 4,500 TEUs. The narrow and time-consuming locks were unable to handle the enormous volume of shipping and increasingly larger vessel sizes, so the canal was expanded to allow ships up to 366 m long, 49 m wide, and 14,999 TEUs to pass through, which are referred to as "Neo-panamax" ships.
The Panama Canal, which is used by 13,000 to 14,000 ships annually, has recently been disrupted by the worst drought in 100 years, as the level of Gatun Lake, which supplies water for the canal's operations, has dropped to its lowest level due to lack of precipitation, restricting ship transits.
The Panama Canal Authority adjusted the draught limit for neo-Panamax vessels, which is currently 44 feet (13.41 m), to 43.5 feet (13.26 m) starting June 25, 2023, and further reduced it to 43 feet (13.11 m) starting July 2023. 
So far, we have been comparing the Suez Canal to the Panama Canal. The Suez Canal has demonstrated its strengths in handling larger vessels and higher volumes, and the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) recently announced that product and chemical carriers will be added to the fixed rebate scheme for long-distance transits on the Suez Canal starting in July 2023.
The SCA has been trying to attract new customers through its rebate policy since 1987, but the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016, one of the world's two largest canals alongside the Suez Canal, has made it a full-fledged competitor, and the company is introducing a variety of rebate conditions to increase its competitiveness. The expansion of the Panama Canal allows for the passage of larger ships, but it is important to note that the canal has recently been experiencing severe drought conditions.
The choice of logistics transportation depends on transportation needs and preferences, and the appropriate choice should be made by considering the advantages and characteristics of each canal. The logistics industry will have to watch the development and innovation of both canals and choose the best one for efficient logistics transportation.