Inaugural transit of the expanded Panama Canal

The first transit of the expanded Panama Canal has been completed by COSCO Shipping’s container carrier ‘Panama’.

The expansion program included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific side of the waterway and the excavation of more than 150 million cubic metres of material, creating a second lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway.

The new locks are 20 metres wider and five metres deeper than those in the original canal, but use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 per cent of the water used per transit.

COSCO Shipping ‘Panama’ set sail on June 11 from the Greek Port of Piraeus carrying 9,472TEU. It measures 299.98 metres in length and 48.25 metres in beam. Once the vessel reached the Pacific-facing Cocoli Locks, the official inauguration ceremony took place.