Three years after the Expanded Panama Canal welcomed its first vessel on June 26, 2016, the waterway continues to exceed expectations for the maritime industry.
From the culmination of the largest enhancement project
since the waterway’s opening in 1914, the expanded canal recorded over 6,000
“Our team’s increased experience with the Neopanamax Locks
and continued investment into its operations have allowed the waterway to
provide additional capacity and efficiency for shippers,” according to the
Panama Canal Authority.
“This has enabled the team to continue reaching remarkable
milestones over the past year across new and existing segments, such as
transits by the first Q-Flex LNG tanker and the largest containership to-date,
both just last month.”
The Expanded Canal has also reaffirmed the waterway’s role
as the Green Route of world maritime trade by offering greater cargo carrying
capacity and requiring less cargo movements.
As a result of shipping lines rerouting their services to
take advantage of these economies of scale, the Neopanamax Locks have now led
to the reduction of more than 55 million tons of CO2 since their inauguration,
the authority explained.
In combination with the Panamax Locks during the same
period, the waterway has reduced more than 75 million tons of CO2 in the same timeframe.