Expanded Panama Canal Marks 500 Ship Transits Since Opening

ship in panama canal
The 8,500 teu YM Unity during its northbound transit of the Panama Canal, Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Photo: Panama Canal Authority

More than 500 ships have now transited the expanded Panama Canal less than six months after the inauguration of the new locks on June 26, 2016.

portacontenedoresymunity_2-300x169The Panama Canal marked the milestone 500th transit through the new locks on Wednesday with the transit of the Yan Ming containership YM Unity. In a statement the Panama Canal Authority said the new neopanamax locks are already exceeding expectations.

“We are very optimistic, because our customers continue to rely on our route, what drives us every day to provide quality service,” said Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano.

The YM Unity began its transit of the canal on the Pacific side after sailing from China, headed for the U.S. East Coast and Singapore. The vessel was actually the first of five ships scheduled to transit the expanded locks on Wednesday.

The 2006-built YM Unity ship measures 335.7 meters long and 42.8 meters wide. It can carry 8,500 TEU.