Source: R.D. Knowles (2005) "Transport Shaping Space", Fleming Lecture
in Transportation Geography, AAG Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
Effects of the Suez and Panama Canals on Travel Distances
Both the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal reduced maritime
shipping distances and costs considerably. For instance, the Suez Canal
shortened the distance on a maritime journey from London to
Bombay (the colonial name, which has become Mumbai in post
colonial India) by 41% and shortened the distance on a journey from
London to Shanghai by 32%. For the Panama Canal, improvements
were even more dramatic with the strategic New York - San
Francisco route reduced by 60%. Major commercial centers could
thus be serviced in a less amount of time and the ships could be
used more effectively (more trips per year).