Expanded Panama Canal reaches its thousand transit
Close to nine months after the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal the 1,000th neo-panamax vessel has transited the waterway.
On Sunday, 19 March, the Panama-flagged box ship MSC Anzu owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company made the historic 1,000th transit through the new locks. MSC Anzu measures 299.98 m in length and 48.23 m in beam with a carrying capacity of 9,008 teu.
The MSC Anzu vessel is part of the SAWC-USA-NWC service between Europe, the United States and the South America West Coast that was consolidated last year to take advantage of the expanded Panama Canal.
In February 2017, the Panama Canal set a new daily tonnage record of 1.18 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) after welcoming a total of 1,180 vessels through both the Expanded and original locks. The previous records were established in December 2016 and January 2017, when the waterway set monthly tonnage records for transiting 35.4 million PC/UMS and 36.1 million PC/UMS, respectively.
Major liner services have already re-directed services to the waterway to take advantage of the economies of scale the waterway provides and 13 neo-panamax liner services have been deployed through the new locks, primarily on the US East Coast to Asia trade route.
On 1 April, two additional neo-panamax liner services are expected to follow, bringing the total liner services to 15 – further demonstrating the benefits of the waterway.
“Today’s transit represents a considerable milestone, marking the industry’s strong adoption of the Expanded Canal and its successful operations thus far,” said Jorge L. Quijano Panama Canal Administrator .