Three Years: Expanded Panama Canal Exceeding Expectations

Panama CanalImage Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority

Three years after the Expanded Panama Canal welcomed its first vessel on June 26, 2016, the waterway continues to exceed expectations for the maritime industry.

From the culmination of the largest enhancement project since the waterway’s opening in 1914, the expanded canal recorded over 6,000 Neopanamax transits.

“Our team’s increased experience with the Neopanamax Locks and continued investment into its operations have allowed the waterway to provide additional capacity and efficiency for shippers,” according to the Panama Canal Authority.

“This has enabled the team to continue reaching remarkable milestones over the past year across new and existing segments, such as transits by the first Q-Flex LNG tanker and the largest containership to-date, both just last month.”

The Expanded Canal has also reaffirmed the waterway’s role as the Green Route of world maritime trade by offering greater cargo carrying capacity and requiring less cargo movements.

As a result of shipping lines rerouting their services to take advantage of these economies of scale, the Neopanamax Locks have now led to the reduction of more than 55 million tons of CO2 since their inauguration, the authority explained.

In combination with the Panamax Locks during the same period, the waterway has reduced more than 75 million tons of CO2 in the same timeframe.

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