Panama Canal Expansion

After a decade of theorising and debate, the reality of how Panama Canal expansion will impact shipping is finally at hand.

The ‘neo-Panamax’ era is about to begin, and it is increasingly obvious that the shipping effects will be far more acute in some sectors than in others. In the container shipping market, major changes are already afoot. Liner operators are upgraded their vessels immediately to take advantage of the expanded locks. In other sectors, such as LNG and LPG, the use of the expanded Panama Canal – or the decision to bypass it – will be driven by cargo interests, not vessel operators.

News & Analysis

06 Jun 2017
In the 11 months since the debut of Panama Canal’s larger locks, demand for ‘neo-Panamax’ transit slots has been higher than expected, driven by LPG cargoes from the United States to Asia and a rapid upsizing of container ships.
Panama Canal expansion: container sector outlook
03 Jun 2016
As the opening of the expanded Panama Canal draws near, container lines are replacing their Panamaxes with larger neo-Panamaxes at a faster clip than some industry insiders had expected.
31 May 2016
Toll costs and a reduction in cross-basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) flows should undercut the Panama Canal expansion’s impact on LNG routing, according to IHS Energy senior principal researcher Andres Rojas.
31 May 2016
The expansion of the Panama Canal will allow a much shorter route for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports from the United States to Asia, which could further depress already low Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) rates.
20 May 2016
Chinese consortium Panama Colon Container Port (PCCP) has reached agreement on a deal with the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to construct the first terminal in Colon able to handle post-Panamax vessels.
TC Mariel boss Charles Baker
18 May 2016
Plans are in place to transform Cuba’s Mariel container terminal into a major transhipment hub after the US trade embargo is lifted, according to TC Mariel general director Charles Baker.