Record Panama Canal Transit by CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt
The Panama Canal welcomed the largest capacity vessel to ever transit the Expanded Locks on Tuesday, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt. The neo-Panamax container ship, which began its voyage from Asia, will be making stops along the U.S. East Coast.
The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt has a Total TEU Allowance (TTA) of 14,855 and measures 1,200 feet (365.9 meters) in length and 158 feet (48.2 meters) in beam. To put this into perspective, her length is roughly the equivalent of laying end to end two Great Pyramids of Giza, four Big Bens or eight Statues of Liberty.
The vessel is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and U.S. 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 CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt began its voyage in Shanghai and will soon call on ports along the U.S. East Coast. 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 Theodore Roosevelt will also call on the Port of New York and New Jersey, which recently completed a four year, $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.
By transiting through Panama, CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt saved 29,561 tons of CO2 in bypassing the Cape of Good Hope. Emission reductions have been a key focus of the Expanded Canal, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in June. In its first year of operation, the Expanded Canal contributed to the reduction of 17 million tons of CO2 thanks to the shorter traveling distance and larger cargo carrying capacity that it offers.
Looking forward to the 2018 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, the Panama Canal Authority is projected to accommodate approximately 13,000 vessels, including 2,335 neo-Panamax vessels for a record tonnage of 429.4 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS).