The expanded Panama Canal is set to reshape global trade lanes opening new options between Asia, the Americas and Europe.
“More than 100 years ago, the Panama Canal connected two oceans. Today, we connect the present and the future. It is an honour to announce that what we did it together: providing this great connection to the world. This is the beginning of a new era,” said Panama Canal Authority Administrator Jorge Quijano during the expanded canal inauguration ceremony on Sunday.
“Canal users can be assured that we will continue to support the Panama Canal Authority and our port operators to provide them a world class service and strengthen our logistics system by creating the necessary incentives and conditions to give added value to our inter-oceanic route,” said Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela as he officially opened the Panama Canal third lane.
The inaugural transit began with the passage of neo-panamax box Cosco Shipping Panama through the Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side and concluded with its transit through the Cocoli Locks on the Pacific side. The ship is enroute to Asia.
The Canal expansion will provide greater economies of scale to global commerce. It will introduce new routes, liner services, and segments such as LNG.
“We are thrilled that we currently have 170 reservations for Neopanamax ships, commitments of two new liner services to the expanded Canal, and a reservation for the first LNG vessel, which will transit in late July,” Quijano added. “Our customers care that their supply chain is reliable and that they have a diversity of shipping options. And the Canal has always been reliable; today, we offer the world new shipping options and trade routes.”
In 2015, the waterway set a tonnage record, transiting 340.8m PC/UMS. It will continue to operate, transiting panamax-sized vessels or smaller.
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