Beat the Canal is an initiative to encourage those involved in West Coast US trade to confront and rise to the challenge of the 2014 expansion of the Panama Canal.

An Initiative of the

Jobs 1st Alliance


The widening of the Panama Canal now underway will give large container ships crossing the Pacific the ability to bypass ports in California and dock in East Coast and Gulf ports. The purpose of the Beat the Canal initiative is to enhance the competitiveness of our green ports and corridors to be ready to meet this challenge by the time the widened Canal doubles current capacity when it opens in 2014.
If this campaign succeeds, California will see job creation, business growth and retention, environmental benefits, and cost savings throughout our economy’s supply chain.  If we do nothing and allow other ports to become increasingly competitive moving Asia-U.S. cargo to market, the implications for our economic recovery, the global environment, and our long-term business outlook are extremely serious.

Put People to Work!

“Make no mistake, expansion of the Panama Canal has jobs written all over it… jobs for them. We must unite to protect our jobs and market the environmental benefits we offer — to Beat the Canal!” 

How will we measure success?

To measure success, we need to measure the real world dimensions our ports compete in.  We will develop a performance index to rate goods movement through our California ports and corridors and compare ratings to goods moved via the Canal to any port in the United States.  This index will allow everyone to measure velocity, efficiency, environmental impact and other factors that affect the costs of goods movement. The Beat the Canal initiative aims to make our ports and corridors win this comparison.

Who will be invited to participate in designing the Beat the Canal initiative?

As the program unfolds, we intend to invite the entire goods movement supply chain, including the ports, labor, ocean carriers, railroads, trucking, supportive environmental interests, retailers, wholesale traders, agriculture, government agencies, community organizations, business alliances and regional institutes and researchers.

The Panama Canal is an enormous threat to the entire goods movement industry in California. We don’t want to lose cargo to other ports and regions on account of uncertainty or doubt about our willingness to confront this challenge. None of the interested parties can or should fight this battle alone. Everyone must work together.

Beat the Canal!