Before Panama, There Was Kiel

The Panama Canal might be the best-known man-made artificial waterway, but before the Panama Canal, there was the Kiel Canal, which is the busiest artificial waterway in the world that is a 98km long freshwater canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein that was officially opened 120 years ago today (even though it wasn’t really finished until the widening project was finished in 1914) and connected the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. This was, and is, an important canal because it saves an average of 460 km and allows ships to avoid dangerous storm-prone seas.
As a point of comparison, the Panama canal, which was initially started in 1881, was put on hold until 1904 when the US took over the project abandoned by France and not opened until August 15, 1914, almost twenty years later.
In shipping and logistics, we take these canals for granted, but most are rather new in the grand scheme of global trade.