The Panama Canal handled its 100th transit through the expanded waterway on August 14, just one day before celebrating 102 years of operations and service to the global maritime community.
Less than two months following the Expanded Canal’s June 26 inauguration, the Neopanamax vessel Hanjin Xiamen became the 100th vessel to transit the new locks, passing through the canal on Sunday morning.
The Panama-flagged containership, which measures 294 meters in length and 40 meters in beam, made its northbound transit from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean, destined for New York.
The Panama Canal said it invested more than USD 3.3 billion over the past 17 years in improvements of the original waterway.
Some of these investments included upgrades to its locomotive fleet and tracks, installation of new tie-up and mooring stations to allow additional Panamax vessels to transit, and deepening of all of the lake channels, increasing draft reliability.
These investments have also allowed the Panama Canal to grow the total amount of tonnage it handles each year, from 228 million Panama Canal tons in 1999, to a record-breaking 340.8 million PC/UMS last year. It is expected that the Panama Canal will continue to increase its annual tonnage during the next five years to approximately 524 million PC/UMS.