Panama Canal announced the transit of
its 3,000th Neopanamax vessel, exceeding initial traffic expectations by this
date and reaffirming the value and impact its route has had on global maritime
The Panamanian flagged containership MSC
Caterina completed the milestone transit this morning 5 March 2018 traveling
northbound from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. The vessel measures 300
meters in length and 48 meters in beam, with a total TEU allowance (TTA) of
9,000 containers. It was one of nine Neopanamax vessels welcomed at the Panama
Canal today, says an official release from Panama Canal.
“Today’s milestone, achieved in less
than two years of operation, serves as a proud reminder of the confidence that
our customers and the broader maritime industry have placed in our route,” said
Canal Administrator, Jorge Luis Quijano.
Since its inauguration on June 26, 2016,
the Neopanamax locks have had a positive effect on economies of global scales
by providing the shipping industry with greater capacity to transport cargo
between production centers and consumer centers, using Neopanamax vessels.
Of the 3,000 vessels that have transited
to date, roughly 53 percent have been from the container segment. Liquefied
petroleum gas vessels constitute another 28 percent, and liquified natural gas
carriers, a relatively new segment to the Panama Canal, have been responsible
for 10 percent of traffic. Dry and liquid bulk carriers, car carriers and
cruise ships make up the remaining transits.
Other notable transits thus far include
the MSC Anzu, which became the 1000th transit on March 19, 2017, and the COSCO
Yantian which later registered the 2,000th transit on September 26, 2017.
Reflecting on the strong adoption of the
waterway, Mr. Quijano added: “We at the Panama Canal remain committed to
providing a safe, reliable and efficient service for our customers. We look
forward to the next 3,000 vessels and beyond.”
Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in
charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation
of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the
regulations approved by its Board of Directors.
Panama Canal Expansion
The Panama Canal Expansion is the largest enhancement project since the Canal’s
opening in 1914. Considered and analyzed for a decade with more than 100
studies, the Expanded Canal provides the world’s shippers, retailers,
manufacturers and consumers with greater shipping options, better maritime
service, enhanced logistics and supply-chain reliability. The Expansion
included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific
sides of the waterway, creating a third lane of traffic and doubling the cargo
capacity of the waterway. While the expanded locks are 70 feet wide and 18 feet
deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to
water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit. In
line with its commitment to customer service, the Panama Canal will continue to
provide the world with value for another century and beyond.