It has been nearly one-year since water began to fill the newest expansion of the Panama Canal, and the end of the project is finally here. The Panama Canal Expansion, a construction project that has been in the works for around nine years, has at last come to a close and is open for maritime trading beginning Sunday, June 26, 2016. The opening is much anticipated after many different deadlines have passed over the years but the time has come. The newest member of the Panama Canal is open for business!
This expansion comes after megaships carrying shipping containers continue to take the overseas shipping industry by storm. Investing in these ships means lower fuel costs for shipping companies, as these ships are ultra-efficient, and have a greater capacity compared to smaller ships. As more and more companies continue to invest in megaships, the Panama Canal needed to adapt in order to keep their canal ready for these massive ships of the future.
Benefits of the Expansion
This expansion has new locks, a Pacific access channel, improvement of navigational channels, and improvements to the water supply within the channel. All of these improvements lead to not only allowing the channel to hold megaships but for increasing the canal’s capacity, which it was nearing rapidly. Specifically, this expansion will allow for megaships to voyage to the United States.
In preparation for the Panama Canal Expansion opening day, a 35.3-acre training facility for ship pilots was created to prepare them for all possible situations that can occur when weather and other factors come into play during real maritime canal routes. This simulation included a variety of conditions and are carried out with a variety of different ships that the pilots will encounter while working the newest addition of the canal. This hands-on experience has ensured that the people working on the new canal will be prepared for any situation that these megaships combined with weather can “blow” their way.
The opening of the Panama Canal Expansion will revolutionize the tradeability between countries around the world and allow megaships access to the canal, which sees around 14,000 ships through it per year. This expansion puts the Panama Canal on the map for innovation and execution as it is the first canal to expand to accommodate megaships. To keep up with the latest Panama Canal Expansion news head to http://micanaldepanama.com/expansion/