Panama Canal welcomes largest containership to date

Transit surpassed 15,000 TEU threshold, setting new record in terms of total TEU capacity.

May 20, 2019

2 Min Read
expanded panama largest ship triton.jpg
Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal recently completed a trial transit of Evergreen’s Triton, the largest vessel in dimension and container cargo capacity to pass through the expanded canal since it opened in June 2016.

The Neopanamax containership Triton, which has a Total TEU Allowance (TTA) of 15,313, a 20-row beam of 51.2 m and a length of 369 m, transited northbound from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.

“We are excited about the opportunities enabled by the Triton’s trial transit,” Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said. “Our team continues to offer the additional capacity and deliver on our promise to provide unparalleled safe and efficient service to our customers. Today's transit surpassed the 15,000 TEU vessel threshold, establishing a new record in terms of total TEU capacity."

Similar to the milestone Q-Flex transit completed on May 12, the latest achievement was made possible by an increase to the maximum allowable beam for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks. Beginning in June 2018, the canal increased the allowable beam from 49 m to 51.25 m due to the team’s extensive training and experience gained from successfully operating the expanded canal for almost three years. This experience, coupled with the team’s close collaboration with the customer, also enabled the waterway to accommodate the milestone transit despite the vessel exceeding the waterway’s established maximum vessel length of 366 m.

"Today’s milestone marks a new era for containerships at the expanded canal,” Panama Canal senior international trade specialist Argelis Moreno de Ducreux said. "We look forward to collaborating on similar opportunities in the future as liners continue to reroute services and consolidate cargo on larger vessels.”

The Triton is deployed on Evergreen’s Far East-U.S. East Coast (AUE) service as part of the OCEAN Alliance network, which connects Asia and U.S. East Coast ports via the Panama Canal. The AUE service is comprised of 11 vessels ranging in size from 8,000 to 14,000 TEUs. The alliance includes China COSCO Shipping, Orient Overseas Container Lines, CMA CGM Group and Evergreen, which are among the Panama Canal's top customers by volume.

The record for largest containership to transit the canal by capacity was set on Aug. 22, 2017, by the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, which measures 365.96 m in length and 48.252 m in beam and had a 14,863 TTA.

Of the 6,000 Neopanamax vessels that have transited to date, nearly 50% have been from the container segment.

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