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26 June 2016: Panama - Inauguration of the new canal.

After 9 year works, the Panama Canal has been enlarged and deepened. A third lane and new locks have been added. The new Panama Canal was inaugurated on June 26, 2016. It is 83 km (45 nautical miles) long. It allows the transit of vessels with a maximum length of 366 m (1,200 ft) and a width of up to 49 m (160 ft) carrying up to 14 000 containers, against 5,000 maximum containers previously. The loading capacity of the vessels is therefore almost tripled.

In 2015, nearly 14,000 vessels carrying a total of 300 million tons of goods passed through the canal. The objective is to double the transported volume within 10 years. Since its opening in 1914, the Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, has experienced a growing success, especially in the trade between Asia and the eastern part of the Americas. It also plays an important role in the development of the economy of Panama and its tourism. The project of a competing channel into Nicaragua by a Chinese Consortium is without doubt one of the factors that prompted to modernize the Panama Canal despite the high cost of the required works ($5.2 billion).


 

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