On Tuesday, the Panama Canal received the largest capacity vessel to-date to transit the expanded Locks - Hapag-Lloyd's Valparaiso Express. The 10,589 TEU Neopanamax container ship was specifically built to take advantage of the greater capacity offered by the expanded Panama Canal.
The expanded canal was inaugurated on June 26. The new locks, which are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original canal, are able to accommodate Neopanamax vessels carrying up to 13,000 to 14,000 TEUs.
The vessel began its transit at the Pacific-facing Cocoli Locks, following calls at ports in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. After completing its transit through the Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks, the ship will stop at Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama and will continue its route to terminals in the Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
The Valparaíso Express is part of Hapag-Lloyd's Europe – South America West Coast service, which covers a nine-week rotation, merging two previous services between Northern Europe and the West Coast of South America.
Over 500 ships have now transited the expanded Panama Canal.