10 Most Important Shipping Canals in the World

Following are 10 of the world’s most important shipping canals. They range from less than 4 miles long to over 1,000, and some are now bigger tourist attractions than transport passages. However, all have played a vital role in enabling ship transport, and many still do.

1. Panama Canal

Arguably the most famous canal in the world, this Central American waterway in Panama connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

2. Suez Canal

The other contender for the world’s most famous canal, this Egyptian canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, facilitating ship passage between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

3. Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal

This canal connects the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers in China. At just over 1,100 miles, it’s the world’s longest and oldest canal.

4. Corinth Canal

With a width of only 82 feet, this is the narrowest canal in the world and the deepest. Located in Greece, it connects the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Because of its narrowness, large ships cannot use it.

5. Volga-Don Canal

This canal connects the Russian rivers of the same names. It’s an essential link between the Azov and Caspian Seas and the ocean. It was built almost entirely by forced gulag labor during the Soviet years.

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