This post is also available in: Spanish
On June 26, 2017 the Panama Canal commemorated the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of its Expanded Canal, one of the most significant milestones in the history of the 102-year old waterway and a defining moment for the people of Panama and the global maritime industry.
During the one-year anniversary, the vessels that have transited the Expanded Canal received commemorative plaques. The honored vessels included: Albert III, Ever Loading, Valparaiso Express, Yuhsho and CMA CGM Melisande.
“These transits are a testament to the global maritime industry’s confidence in the Expanded Canal,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano. “The countless accomplishments set over the past year have surpassed even our own expectations for the project. We would like to thank everyone involved, from our customers to our highly-skilled employees, for their role in making this year such a great success.”
Over the past 12 months, the Expanded Canal’s performance has exceeded what was originally forecast, as global trade routes have been redrawn and its positive impact has been felt around the world.
The Panama Canal launched the Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program, a new initiative that recognizes customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship and encourages others to implement technologies and standards that reduce emissions. This program includes the Environmental Premium Ranking and the Green Connection Award.
The Expanded Canal contributed to the reduction of 17 million tons of CO2 during its first year of operation thanks to the shorter traveling distance and larger cargo carrying capacity that it offers to customers.
Together, these activities have led to a ripple effect on local and global economies, positively impacting the international shipping industry as ports worldwide continue to invest in their infrastructure to accommodate the influx in Neopanamax traffic from the Expanded Canal. Investment has been particularly prevalent among U.S. East Coast ports, which have experienced strong growth and broken cargo records, providing a boost to their local economies.