panama canal capacity record

CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt Breaks Panama Canal Capacity Record on Way to U.S. East Coast – 14,855 TEU!

Mike Schuler
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August 22, 2017

MV CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt breaks the record for the largest capacity ship to use the Panama Canal’s new Expanded Locks, August 22, 2017. Photo: Panama Canal Authority

The 14,855 TEU capacity CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt has set a new record as the largest capacity ship to ever transit the new Expanded Locks of the Panama Canal. 

The Neopanamax containership, which began its voyage from Asia, made its inaugural transit of the Panama Canal on Tuesday as it heads for the U.S. East Coast. 


The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt has a Total TEU Allowance (TTA) of 14,855 and measures 365.9 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam. It beats records set by the 13,926 TEU OOCL France and 13,092 TEU COSCO Development in May as the largest capacity ship to use the waterway.

Technically speaking, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is the first Ultra Large Container Vessel to ever use the Panama Canal. ULCVs are categorized as having more than 14,000 TEU capacity. 

Expanded Panama Canal Marks One Year Since Opening

CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt
Photo: Panama Canal Authority

“Today’s transit not only represents the growing success and adoption of the Expanded Canal, but also its impact on reshaping world trade,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

Like the OOCL France and COSCO Development, CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt 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.

The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt began its voyage in Shanghai and will soon call on ports along the U.S. East Coast, with stops will include Norfolk, Savannah, and Charleston.

Panama Canal Does Some Good While Upending Historic Trade Routes

Panama Canal record
Photo: Panama Canal Authority

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.

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