Panama Canal performing above initial expectations

Panama's expanded Canal increases traffic, recovers market

The expanded Panama Canal has performed way above what was expected since its inception.

It has gained 15 new liner services; transited six neopanamaxes (after an initial forecast of “two to three” in the first year); and has had more than five liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels a week transiting the canal (beating the original estimate of “one a week”).

US press reports also point to the canal expansion spinning off more business for US east coast ports, which are still in the process of deepening port access channels to be able to accommodate the larger containerships now able to use the canal.

And the American Journal of Transportation reported that this had resulted in a record month for US east coast ports – headlining Charleston’s 28% increase in cargo volumes; Philadelphia’s 34%; and Savannah’s 16%.

It also pointed out that next month a 13 000+ TEU-capacity ship from a liner service newly re-routed through the canal would be calling thereafter at the ports of Virginia, Charleston, and Savannah, and will be their largest ever.   

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