Expanded Panama Canal welcomes its largest vessel since opened
THE expanded Panama Canal has accommodated its largest vessel since the third set of locks opened in June 2016. The 13,092 TEU "Cosco Development," measuring 366 metres x 48 metres, began its voyage in Asia destined for the biggest ports on the US east coast.
The vessel is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance's weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, connecting Asia-US east coast ports via the Panama Canal.
The SAX service is comprised of 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 13,000 TEU.
Since the expanded Canal opened, 1,200 Neo-panamax vessels have transited this major waterway, equivalent to an average of 5.9 ships per day, when a daily estimate of two and three transits was initially forecasted for the first year of operation. In addition, a total of 15 new container shipping services have shifted to take advantage of the new route.
Containerships represent 43 per cent of traffic through the new locks, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which represent approximately 29.1 and 8.3 per cent, respectively.
The Panama Canal's senior international trade specialist Argelis Moreno de Ducreux said: "We're seeing the majority of these liner services connecting ports in Asia and the US east coast, which are regions already seeing an influx in traffic due to the expansion."
10 May 2017