Bigger ships: Panama celebrates opening its expanded canal
A 984-foot Chinese container ship cleared the new massive locks of the Panama Canal on Sunday, becoming the first to officially pass through the expanded canal and sparking a new dawn for Panama and global shipping.
The $5.4 billion effort to expand the 102-year-old canal took nearly 10 years and the sweat from 40,000 workers to complete. The new set of locks now allows ships carrying up to 14,000 containers, known as neo-Panamax ships, to cut a quicker path between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. U.S. ports have been investing billions of dollars to expand their facilities in a race to accommodate the mega ships.
The expanded canal nearly triples the capacity of ships transiting the canal, from those able to carry 5,000 containers to up to 14,000 containers, and is expected to bring increased revenue to Panama"