The big day has finally arrived!
The Panama Canal Extension officially opens for business 27 June, 2016, with the passage of China COSCO Shipping Corporation’s Cosco Shipping Panama through the newly expanded canal locks.
The neopanamax vessel has a carrying capacity of 9,472 TEUs, and was selected by lottery to make the inaugural transit, marking the end of the expansion project.
Panama Canal Authority Press Release: “Our commitment to provide value to our customers remains paramount. In 2015, we broke our tonnage record with 340.8 million PC/UMS in the original Canal,” said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano.
“Today, we make history and improve global connectivity. We thank our customers for their support and appreciate the 170 reservations we have received thus far to transit the Expanded Canal.”
Watch the $5.4 billion, 9-year long canal expansion project in this time-lapse:
The expanded canal can accommodate neopanamax ships with capacities of 14,000 TEUs as compared to 5,000, can transit the newly expanded locks.
According to Panama Canal Authority officials, reservations are racking up for the larger locks, 170 have signed up already.
Read more from the official press release here…
posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee