Full text: Modern business geography

The Use of Ships 
Since it then cost about $450 a day to operate the vessel, the saving 
for 26.8 days amounted to $12,060. From this sum canal tolls of 
$7981.20 had to be subtracted, leaving a net saving of $4168.80 for 
each voyage. Today, since the cost of running the ship has in- 
creased, the saving has also increased. 
One of the best indications of how the canal benefits seaborne trade 
may be seen in the following examples of the number of miles saved 
between ports on each of its four chief routes : 
(1) New York and San Francisco 
2) San Francisco and Liverpool 
(3) Valparaiso and New York 
‘4, New York and Yokohama 
How the Panama Canal benefits the people of the United States. 
The great reason for building the Panama Canal was to secure the 
benefits which it confers upon the United States. 
(1) It keeps down prices. As the cost of transportation is lowered, 
the prices of goods that come through the canal are also lowered. 
This does not mean that the prices are actually lower than 
formerly, but lower than they would presumably have been 
had not the canal been built. Thus the canal is believed to 
have prevented the prices of canned salmon and canned peaches, 
for instance, from rising as high as they otherwise would have risen 
in our eastern markets; while the price of coal on the Pacific 
coast has probably soared less than would otherwise have 
happened. The prices of nitrates for the southern farmers, and of 
bamboo and rattan for the furniture makers of the northeastern 
United States, have likewise been kept down. In the same way 
the canal tends to cheapen kerosene in China, wheat in England, 
and manufactured goods in western South America. 
The canal has stimulated the trade of Gulf seaports and Missis- 
sippt waterways. Gulf ports, such as New Orleans and Galves- 
ton, are growing in importance because of the traffic given them 
by the Panama Canal. These ports handle goods passing be- 
tween the great Mississippi basin and the Pacific coast or the 
Orient — goods that were formerly handled by New York and 
Seattle. This traffic may in time lead to the improvement of 
the Mississippi River so that the cheap water route may con- 
tinue even to Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Omaha. 
The canal brings North and South America together. Since the 
canal was built, the Pacific coast of South America has been 
more easily within reach of the Atlantic cities of the United 
States than of the European cities which formerly supplied it 

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