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About the Panama Canal.

The Panama Canal is a 77 kilometres ship canal  in Panama that joins the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean and is a key way for the 5% of the world international trade.

Built in only 10 yeras, from 1904 to 1914, the annual traffic has risen to more than 15000 vessels in 2009.

In total over 800,000 vessels have passed through the canal, being one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.

The Panama Canal was constructed  by the United States, opening it in 1914. The U.S. controlled the canal until 1999 and from 31 December 1999 the solely command of the waterway was assumed by Panama.

The problem with the Canal is that it does not allow big ships and big tankers.

The maximum size of vessel that can use the canal is  of 65,000-80,000 tonnes, but its actual cargo is restricted to about 52,500 tonnes because of draft restrictions in the canal.