Largest Capacity Boxship To-Date Transits Panama Canal’s New Locks
On August 22, the Panama Canal welcomed the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, the largest capacity vessel to ever transit the Expanded Canal.
The Neopanamax containership, which began its voyage in Shanghai, will be making stops along the US East Coast. The ultra large container vessel (ULCV) was completed at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in July this year.
The 14,855 TEU boxship measures 365.9 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam. To put the scale of this enormous ship into perspective, its length is roughly the equivalent of laying end to end two Great Pyramids of Giza, four Big Bens, or eight Statues of Liberty.
“Today’s transit not only represents the growing success and adoption of the Expanded Canal, but also its impact on reshaping world trade,” Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, commented.
The CMA CGM T. Roosevelt is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and US East Coast ports via the Panama Canal. The SAX service is composed of 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs, including vessels which also transited the Expanded Canal earlier in May becoming the largest capacity ships to do so at time.
The vessel’s stops will include Norfolk, Savannah, and Charleston, all of which have seen strong growth and record-breaking tonnage, following investments made to accommodate the larger vessels now able to transit the Expanded Canal.
For this voyage, the CMA CGM T. Roosevelt will also call on the Port of New York and New Jersey, which recently completed a four year, USD 1.6 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge to 215 ft. The move will allow the nation’s third-largest port for the first time to accept ships larger than 9,500 TEU to reach three of its four main terminals.
Looking forward to the 2018 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, the Panama Canal Authority expects to accommodate approximately 13,000 vessels, including 2,335 Neopanamax vessels for a record tonnage of 429.4 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS).
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