Fifteen months since the inauguration, the Expanded Panama Canal has welcomed the 2,000th Neopanamax ship to transit the waterway.
The 9,469 COSCO Yantian, operated by China’s COSCO, completed the transit on September 26, heading north – from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Measuring 351 meters in length and 43 meters in width, the boxship was built at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2006.
COSCO Yantian is part of the Pacific East Coast 2 (PEX2) service operating on the Asia-Caribbean route.
“In 15 months of operations, the Expanded Canal has had an impact on the shipping industry by realigning shipping routes,” Jorge Luis Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.
As informed, the 2,000th transit marks a new step for the Expanded Canal which serves several types of ships, most of them being containerships, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. Other types such as bulk carriers, tankers, car carriers and cruise ships have also transited the waterway.
In a separate announcement, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced a change to the vessel type definitions for its pricing structure. Effective October 1, 2017, container/breakbulk vessels from the segment “others” will be reassigned to the general cargo segment, ACP said in the Advisory to Shipping.
Earlier this month, ACP and the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) joined forces to launch a new project to facilitate international maritime transport. Under the Panama Maritime Single Window System (VUMPA), the parties aim to optimize national and international maritime transactions through the simplification and coordination of processes, including reception and departure of ships, contributing to the exchange of electronic information in maritime transportation.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority