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Thread: Costa Rican Canal

  1. #1

    Default Costa Rican Canal

    Interesting article in today's La Prensa about plans for a dry canal in Costa Rica. Trains would run every forty minutes from a port in Guanacaste to Limon, loaded with containers.

    The economics of this are interesting and complex. It's costing $100 /container to transit the Panama Canal, so a (small) ship with 4500 containers pays $450K. Cruise ships pay $132 /bed.

    Daily operating costs vary depending on size of ship and number of containers, but a ship this size would cost approximately $68K /day to operate.

    There are two proposals vying for a Costa Rican government concession. One is a bit more involved, and includes a means of moving grain.

    It's not hard to imagine a model that includes sorting and distribution of the containers to different destinations at Limon. For example, a 14,000 container ship arrives from China but the containers include destinations of Brazil, the US, Europe, the Caribbean.

    Remember, the Cubans were going to build something like this, an enormous container distribution point. I believe with Venezuelan money (what Venezuelan money .

    Three huge aggravations for the Nicas here:

    1. The Costa Ricans will be able to easily find the financing if the canal seco proves viable; their market economy will attract conventional investment money. A big fear in the minds of Nica canal investors has to be,, Nicaragua simply taking the canal at some point, a la Venezuela with much of their industry (now mostly defunct under socialist management). Everybody knows that that's what socialists do. Take stuff.
    Another consideration I always had was, how long is it going to take to transit the Nicaragua canal?? It's a one way ditch, and that $68K/day could start adding up fast if someone gets stuck, and ships are sitting on both ends waiting for a transit.
    Socialists don't have a great reputation for managing things either. I give you Cuba, where Cubans make $50 /month, of which, $20 is actually spendable. The rest is Cuban National Pesos. Good for getting into museums, but nobody else takes them. Venezuela's PDSA. Largest petroleum reserves in the world, and lacking a buck for a roll of toilet paper. Everybody in this part of the world is living on remittances from the US.


    2. Pacific port will be in Guanacaste,,, lots of great possibilities, but Nicaragua still believes that Guanacaste is theirs. As Doña Nanci said, "Lo Siento!"

    3. The final blow: Canal will be called TICO

    Some decision is supposed to be made on the concession award by July 15 of this year.


    This concept is far from new. A US organization had a concession from Nicaragua to develop a dry canal. Nicaragua unilaterally abrogated this concession when Laureano cozied up to Big Wang during a performance of I Pagliacci.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3R25CPb1Y0

  2. #2
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    I wonder why they didn't do this a decade ago?

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    I wonder why they didn't do this a decade ago?

    Maybe because it did not make any sense then or now?

    I cannot see any reason why a (basically) distribution hub in CA makes any sense. The ships are sailing with full cargo's
    to the available ports....so why unload and re-load?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    .so why unload and re-load?
    If a ship with 2 or 4x the quantity of containers can arrive in the same time scale and less than 2 or 4x the fuel cost plus the ship to ship exchange over the canal is less, why not?
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    If a ship with 2 or 4x the quantity of containers can arrive in the same time scale and less than 2 or 4x the fuel cost plus the ship to ship exchange over the canal is less, why not?
    Well, that is 3 big "ifs" complicated by the situation that my understanding is that there are not many ports in the US that can accommodate the big boys.

    Then what happens if Panama lowers their tariffs?

    Also, what happens when Trump makes America great again and we start sucking all the manufacturing back to the US? Hmmmmm?

    And what happens Trump builds the "Big Fence" and KWP can't get back in without a ladder and a piece of carpet to throw over the barbed wire?

    Sooo many problems to consider and so little time.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    ^^Good points, but not our monkeys, not our circuses. It's Costa Rica's and their investors loss if it fails.

    It's no different from a multimodal distribution center in the US. Big ships arrive at the seaport and puke out their containers, which go onto trains or trucks for a couple hundred miles. In CR's case, the truck could go to another ship on the other coast, or up and down the Pan Am to North and South America.

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    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    The world loves a winner, and CR has that reputation and would therefore be a better site for a dry canal than Nic. Also, the CR economy is much much more then Nic's, so a lot of the containers would actually be destined for western CR, and of course for Nic which remains canal-less and road-less to the east coast.
    I think he who builds firsts, wins.
    If the Chicoms want hegemony in the Caribbean basin, they need to put up or shut up.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    ...with a 6 foot stick and mask and gloves....


  8. #8

    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    So much opportunity here. Nicaragua would benefit most from a CA free trade zone in terms of employment and raising wages.

    I was in Sinsa yesterday, trying to get ten sheets of plycem. When I finally got one of the people standing around to help me she told me they didn't have it in stock. I asked her to check the computer, surprise, it was there.
    While she's generating my factura, her phone rings and she immediately stops what she is doing to answer it. Can you imagine that happening in the US?

    I then stood in line a half hour to pay the invoice. There were two cashiers, but the one had closed out her desk, and just stood there, waiting for the day to end.

    I then proceed to the warehouse side, wait another half hour to load my ten laminas. Part of it was, it was close to the end of day, and that's the way it always is.

    This seems like a thread hijack but it's not. Containers could exit CR for Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and southern Mexico.
    But, anyone who has traveled the Pan Am has seen the endless lines of semi's parked along the road waiting to cross borders.



    Increased trade would benefit everyone, but especially Nicaragua.
    People smarter than me must see this . . . .

  9. #9

    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    The world loves a winner, and CR has that reputation and would therefore be a better site for a dry canal than Nic. Also, the CR economy is much much more then Nic's, so a lot of the containers would actually be destined for western CR, and of course for Nic which remains canal-less and road-less to the east coast.
    I think he who builds firsts, wins.
    If the Chicoms want hegemony in the Caribbean basin, they need to put up or shut up.



    A dry canal could be built in a fraction of time and with a fraction of the environmental grief compared to what is proposed in Nicaragua..
    It would be nice to have an alternative for when the Iranians tuck a nuke into a ship and shut down the Panama Canal.

    That day is surely coming.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    Increased trade would benefit everyone, but especially Nicaragua.
    People smarter than me must see this . . . .
    Since when are the people in power concerned about everyone benefitting? It's less a question of intelligence and more one of greed. Those long freight lines at the CAm borders represent income: tariffs, fees, salaries, . . . graft. These small countries are fiefdoms whose consumers are largely captives.

    Plans for a "dry canal" in CR? Whose to say these aren't just another gambit to lure international investment or confiscate property per eminent domain?

    Meanwhile, the shortest shipping route China to/from Europe, the so-called NW passage, the Arctic ocean is thawing.
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil: be a wise simian

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post

    Meanwhile, the shortest shipping route China to/from Europe, the so-called NW passage, the Arctic ocean is thawing.
    FYI .....Interesting website here: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ch...sea-ice-graph/

    Flip between arctic and antarctic ice area and you will note that the sum is about the same over the years. In other words ....Yes the arctic ice cover is less now than a decade or two ago ago but the antarctic is more. It all seems to average out.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    her phone rings and she immediately stops what she is doing to answer it. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
    Yes. That happens most everywhere I shop. No one can afford to hire a person simply to answer the phone, so cashiers have to do double duty. I have had this happen to me many times. And as for closing down a register while there are long lines, have you been to the Post Office lately? Or Wal Mart?

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post

    Meanwhile, the shortest shipping route China to/from Europe, the so-called NW passage, the Arctic ocean is thawing.
    Funny you mention - Even though the NWP goes between Canadaian islands, the US refuses to identify it as Canadian teritory and catagorises it as international waters (Oil and transport "reasons" )

    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Yes. That happens most everywhere I shop. No one can afford to hire a person simply to answer the phone, so cashiers have to do double duty. I have had this happen to me many times. And as for closing down a register while there are long lines, have you been to the Post Office lately? Or Wal Mart?

    Whoa Kimosabe.....Dunno what life is like in Hicskville, but KWP said she answered HER phone (as in personal)...not the company phone.

    Went to Walmart today and waited 20 seconds in line.

    Post Office here is very efficient with sometimes long lines but little waiting.....and I REALLY live in Hicksville. The standing joke is to ask how to tell a rich Pasco County resident form a poor Pasco County resident? The rich one has two cars jacked up in the front yard.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Hmm, my eyes must have glossed over the "personal" part of the phone call. Reminds me of Chevy Chase doing the news on SNL. "Whaddryou wearing? Oh. Gotta go!" At least he hung up when he noticed he was on the air.

    I don't know why our post offices around town are so understaffed, I figured it was a union thing and probably standard among facilities. The employees are great, but there just aren't enough of them.

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    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Nic already has a free trade zone, except the Crs and Panamanians were smart enough to opt out. Much of the CA industrial goods are from guate and salvador.

    You should have been here in the old days, when the little Sinsa on the other side of the road took 45 minutes to sell a light bulb!
    Sad fact, the chain stores like Sinsa are the most modern, almost up to 1980s speed, and at least their employees are not snotty like a lot of the mom and pop stores.
    The "big" store in Esteli started out on day one with too little floorspace, warehouse space, parking, and truck parking. Give it time and it will get worse. Esteli is exploding with money and sinsa is getting their share, but not near what they could be getting.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    In the States auto-parts service desks are famous for taking calls ahead of the customers waiting in line. Business calls, likely garages that have their number on speed dial. So if you want service it behooves you to call 'em while you're standing in line.

    I've always admired Nicas independant spirit: you may pay me but you don't own me. Kinda like that Johnny Paycheck song.
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil: be a wise simian

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    I don't know why our post offices around town are so understaffed, I figured it was a union thing and probably standard among facilities. The employees are great, but there just aren't enough of them.
    Canada unloaded post offices to Drug stores and corner stores (in really small communities) and only has real post offices in really remote places. But thats socialism for ya.. :-)

    Ours was actually turning a profit until 3 or 4 yrs ago.



    Imaging a cruise where you get your own custom 20' cantainer with an ocean view a container ship - Asia to CR- Unloaded on to a train across CR, then poped on to another boat to go to the Roterdam port - All in the same container - That would be cool..
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  19. #19
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Imaging a cruise where you get your own custom 20' cantainer with an ocean view a container ship - Asia to CR- Unloaded on to a train across CR, then poped on to another boat to go to the Roterdam port - All in the same container - That would be cool..
    cool . . . or rather hot in direct tropical sunlight, depending . . . The idea of being boxed-in ain't appealing. Be sure to included a hermetically sealable porta-potty.

    By the bye, an emergency invitation is being extended to socialists (Canadians & drop-outs from Bernie's campaign, etc.) to come to the aid of Venezuela. Bring toilet paper.
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil: be a wise simian

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    cool . . . or rather hot in direct tropical sunlight, depending . . . The idea of being boxed-in ain't appealing. Be sure to included a hermetically sealable porta-potty.

    By the bye, an emergency invitation is being extended to socialists (Canadians & drop-outs from Bernie's campaign, etc.) to come to the aid of Venezuela. Bring toilet paper.


    All good points and a new catch phrase...BYOTP.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    Has "land , bread, peace" morphed to "slums, toilet paper, turmoil'?

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    ...with a 6 foot stick and mask and gloves....


  22. #22

    Default Re: Costa Rican Canal

    [QUOTE=Daddy-YO;148539]cool . . . or rather hot in direct tropical sunlight, depending . . . The idea of being boxed-in ain't appealing. Be sure to included a hermetically sealable porta-potty.

    You could pay a bit extra for a good position, I would choose mid ship, starboard side.
    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detai...showimage.html

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