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May 03, 2017

Panama Canal welcomes largest vessel to-date through new locks

The Panama Canal welcomed yesterday the largest vessel both in dimension and capacity to transit the Expanded Canal since it was inaugurated in June 2016.

The 13,092 TEU Neopanamax containership COSCO Development, which measures 366 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam, began its voyage in Asia, and will soon become the largest ship to arrive on the U.S. East Coast when it calls at several ports there next week.

To put the scale of this enormous ship into perspective, its length is equivalent to the length of one Eiffel Tower or eight Statues of Liberty.

In the days since its inauguration, the Expanded Canal has seen its Neopanamax traffic steadily increase. Thus far, the Expanded Canal has transited more than 1,200 Neopanamax vessels-an average of 5.9 vessels 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 liner services have shifted to take advantage of the new route.

Containerships represent approximately 43 percent 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 percent, respectively. Other segments such as bulk carriers, tankers and car carriers have also transited the new locks.

Source: Panama Canal Authority