Sunday 26th June 2016 saw thousands of people line the new Cocoli locks welcoming the first vessel to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal.

The massive construction project has been notoriously delayed with the total renovations taking nine years and costing US$5.2billion.

Why Expand?

The Panama Canal expansion project has doubled the waterways capacity creating a new set of locks (now 3 in total) that facilitates the expanding trade between North America and the Far East. The deeper, wider channel can now accommodate post panamax vessels of 13,000-14,000 TEU adding a new lane of shipping traffic.

 

Two-boats-on-the-Panama-Canal

Two boats on the Panama Canal

 

“This new transit route is the tip of the iceberg in making Panama once again the logistic centre of the Americas,” Jorge Luis Quijano, canal administrator, said on Sunday. “And it represents a significant opportunity for the countries of the region to improve their infrastructure [and] increase their exports.” Quoted in The Guardian.

Despite the uncertainty facing the global shipping industry around 170 ships have already registered to use the canal over the coming months. The Panama Canal authority are positive the project will have enormous benefits for local and global trade.

Future Plans?

There are already optimistic plans for further expansions. A fourth set of locks have been discussed to attract even bigger ships that are currently only able to pass through the Suez, heightening Panama’s position as a major competitor to Egypt’s formidable gateway.

If you need more information on our new routing’s through the Panama Canal please contact our team here at Tuscor Lloyds: shipping@tuscorlloyds.com | +44 (0) 161 868 6000 

 

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