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).