China Cosco’s Ship 1st to Sail the Expanded Panama Canal
China COSCO Shipping’s container vessel Andronikos has won the draw for the first transit through the Expanded Panama Canal during the waterway’s inauguration on Sunday, June 26.
Featuring a maximum capacity of 9,400 TEUs, the 299.98-meter long ship was elected during a draw held on Friday at the Panama Canal Administration Building.
The Norwegian/Swedish shipping line Wallenius Wilhemsen Lines (WWL) and the Chinese shipping line China COSCO Shipping participated in the draw.
WWL participated with the car carrier Thalatta. The car carrier, which has a maximum capacity of 8,000 CEUs (car equivalent units), is 36.5 meters in beam and 199.97 meters in length.
“It is a great honor to have one of our top customers celebrate this historical moment with us,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano.
The Panama Canal began accepting transit bookings for Neopanamax vessels for commercial transits through the Expanded Canal on April 18, 2016. The canal will offer four additional slots per day for Neopanamax vessels, in addition to the existing 25 slots for the existing canal.
The first commercial transit reservation was granted to a 230-meter long liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker Linden Pride of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line).
In addition, more than 100 Neopanamax ships have already made reservations for commercial transit through the new locks, which will begin on June 27, 2016, following the historic inauguration, the Panama Canal said.