home 2016, Headlines Historic Day for the Panama Canal (2016)

Historic Day for the Panama Canal (2016)

Panama – Today is the grand inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal. The crossing of the first cargo ship is transmitted live via YouTube.

History in the making as the Cosco Shipping Panama passes through the new expanded canal. The Chinese vessel, set sail from the Greek port of Piraeus on June 11 and today crosses the canal with its 9,472 containers and will be lowered into the Pacific Ocean to continue its journey.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program is the largest construction project undertaken in the waterway since its opening in 1914. Construction on the first-ever expansion began in 2007 at a total cost of US$5.2 billion.

The project creates a new lane of traffic along the canal through the construction of a new set of locks. The existing locks allow the passage of vessels that can carry up to 5,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit). After the expansion the Post-Panamax vessels will be able to transit through the Canal, with up to 13,000/14,000 TEUs. The expansion more than doubles the canal’s capacity, so that the canal can now host 98 percent of the world’s shipping.

The Panama Canal is run by the Panama Canal Authority, an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.comor follow on Twitter @thepanamacanal and @canaldepanama

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