On Wednesday 15th May, the Panama Canal Authority completed a trial transit of Evergreen’s TRITON, the largest vessel in dimension and container cargo capacity to pass through the expanded canal since it opened in June 2016
The NPX containership TRITON has a maximum intake of 15,313 TEU, stacking 20-wide on a beam of 51.2m and a length of 369m. The vessel was in transit northbound from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
“We are excited about the opportunities enabled by the Triton’s trial transit,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L Quijano. “Our team continues to offer the additional capacity, and deliver on our promise to provide unparalleled safe and efficient service to our customers. Today’s transit surpassed the 15,000 TEU vessel threshold, establishing a new record in terms of total TEU capacity."
Similar to the milestone Q-Flex northbound transit completed on 12th May [Qatargas’ AL SAFLIYA, 315m in length and 50m beam with an overall cargo capacity of 210,000 m3 of LNG], the new record was made possible by an increase to the maximum allowable beam for vessels transiting the Neopanamax Locks.
Beginning in June 2018, the Canal increased the allowable beam from 49m to 51.25m due to the team’s extensive training and experience gained from successfully operating the expanded canal for almost three years. This experience, coupled with the team’s close collaboration with the customer, also enabled the waterway to accommodate the milestone transit today despite the vessel exceeding the waterway’s established maximum vessel length of 366m.
"Today’s milestone marks a new era for containerships at the Expanded Canal,” said the Panama Canal’s Senior International Trade Specialist Argelis Moreno de Ducreux. "We look forward to collaborating on similar opportunities in the future as liners continue to reroute services and consolidate cargo on larger vessels.”
TRITON is deployed on Evergreen’s Far East-USEC service as part of the OCEAN Alliance network. The service is comprised of 11 vessels ranging in size from 8,000 to 14,000 TEU. Canal’s top customers by volume.
The previous record for largest containership to transit the Canal by capacity was set on 22nd August, 2017 by CMA CGM THEODORE ROOSEVELT which measures 365.96m in length and 48.252m in beam and has a maximum intake of 14,863 TEU.
Of the 6,000 Neopanamax vessels that have transited to date, nearly 50% have been from the container segment.