The neopanamax locks of Panama Canal – a step forward to boost trade in Asia-Pacific region

The Panama Canal Authority inaugurated the neopanamax locks since June 26, 2016. This new logistic facility has created great impetus for enhancement of trade between Asia and America. The statistical information shows that more than 500 ships have already transited through this new lock since its inauguration during the last six months.

 The 8,500 teu YM Unity during  transit of the Panama Canal

The 8,500 teu YM Unity during transit of the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal achieved the milestone of 500th transit through this new locks with the transit of Yan Ming containership ‘YM Unity’ having measurement of 335.7 meters long and 42.8 meters wide and container carrying capacity of 8,500 TEUs. The ‘YM Unity’ transited the canal on the Pacific side after sailing from China, heading towards US East Coast and Singapore.

The opening of neopanamax locks has also a remarkable achievement as it has recorded third highest annual tonnage in 2016 compared to its performance during the last 102 years history of Panama Canal. As per records of  Panama Canal Authority, a total of 13,114 vessels transited the canal, including 238 neopanamax vessels during 2016 and  neopanamax vessels accounted for approximately 18.2 million Panama Canal Tons (PC/UMS).  The Panama Canal Authority highlighted that out of the total performance, the container segment continued to dominate in terms of tonnage & the other important contributory segments by tonnage were bulk carriers, tankers, vehicle carriers respectively in 2016. Another notable milestone was the introduction of the liquid natural gas segment to use of the expanded canal facility.

 The first LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia, to use the Panama Canal - July 27, 2016.

The first LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia, to use the Panama Canal – July 27, 2016.

Highlighting the phenomenal performance of  neopanamax locks , Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano  commented  that “Despite the international shipping downturn this past year, we recorded one of the highest annual tonnage figures since the opening of the original Canal 102 years ago. This latest success reinforces the continued strategic importance of the route and the growing value that recent investments in the Canal will bring to the maritime industry”.

 

 

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