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More megaships are using the Canal. The Expanded Panama Canal has transited 69 Neopanamax vessels since the Inauguration on June 26, 2016. Specifically, 40 containerships, 24 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, three vehicle carriers and two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers have transited the Expanded Canal. The LNG vessels were the first to transit the waterway since the Canal opened trade possibilities to this new market segment.
In addition, the Panama Canal has received 250 reservations for the Expanded Canal, including seven cruise ship reservations. Since the Expanded Canal opened for business, major liners have rerouted services to take advantage of the significant time savings the waterway provides. For example, the 2M Alliance, which includes shipping lines Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co., announced in July that they are rerouting Asia to U.S. East Coast service through the Canal.
The significant demand shown by the maritime industry reinforces the need for the Expansion, its future potential, and the benefits it brings to global commerce and the world’s consumers.
“We are very pleased with the first month of operations since the Inauguration,” said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO, Jorge L. Quijano. “The increasing demand is further evidence of the maritime industry’s continued trust in the Expanded Canal, and the great impact it will have on the future of world maritime trade.”
Milestone transits for the Expanded Panama Canal, include the following:
- June 26 – Inaugural transit and containership: COSCO Shipping Panama
- June 27 – First liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier: NYK Lycaste Peace
- July 6 – First vehicle carrier (RoRo vessel): NYK Iris Leader
- July 25 – First LNG carrier: Maran Gas Apollonia