Cosco Shipping Panama starts historic transit of expanded Panama Canal


Cosco Shipping Panama starts historic transit of expanded Panama Canal

And there she goes – in a historic moment the 9,472 teu container vessel Cosco Shipping Panama began the inaugural transit of the expanded Panama Canal today at 7:45 am local time.

The Cosco Pacific Panama entered the first chamber of the Atlantic Agua Clara having paid $586,094.58 for the transit the day before she would make the historic inauguration voyage.

As the Cosco Shipping Panama arrived in the locks second chamber, CaptainJude Rodrigues was welcomed by Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator Jorge Quijano and Coscocs chairman Xu Lirong.

Later this afternoon, the vessel will reach the Pacific Cocoli Locks where the official Inauguration ceremony will take place.

On the eve of the inauguration, ACP Administrator Jorge Quijano hosted a reception for the Canal customers and ship owners invited to witness the inauguration June 26 and the festivities Sunday afternoon in the Cocoli locks.

“I would like to express my excitement of sharing this moment with our main customers and stakeholders, including the ports we serve,” said Quijano to the audience who applauded him repeatedly.

“You all know the effort that the construction of the expanded Canal entailed, and I have to thank you for your unwavering support during the ups and downs typical of a project of this magnitude and complexity. During the last nine years, we felt your support not only in words, but also in actions, as we witnessed the increased number of larger vessels being ordered that fit the new locks dimensions immediately after we announced the expansion, “ Quijano said.

“We also saw the rush by port terminals to deepen their channels and upgrade their infrastructure. Even shippers have done some shifting of their distribution centers. All this is proof of the trust that the shipping industry has on this project’s impact on global trade. You all were with us during this voyage and tonight, I can proudly say that we did it and we did it together!”

“This is the beginning of a new era A new era that also brings new incentives. These include:

a loyalty programme for container vessels, which provides price improvements of as much as 6% on the capacity tariff, for customers who reach specific TEU volumes .… Around ten container lines are already taking advantage of this programme since April this year;

We will apply the ballast rate for LNG vessels on the return voyage so long as this trip to the canal is made within 60 days after the laden transit was completed;

And we have also developed a ballast rate for dry bulkers to promote the repositioning of the larger vessels that need to use the Neopanamax locks.

Beginning next week, we will accommodate containerships of around 8,000 to 10,000 teu transiting the Canal, and in a year or more, we should be receiving the larger 13,000 and 14,000 teu vessels in our waters.

“To this date, we have over 170 reservations for transits of neo-panamax vessels.”

Source from : Seatrade Global