The first wave of 8,000 to 10,000 teu ‘neo-panamax’ vessels started to flow through the widened Panama Canal a few months ago, signalling a new era in shipping and logistics in our hemisphere.
According to reports, within the first month of its opening, the expanded canal welcomed 53 vessels, including 22 liquefied petroleum gas vessels, 28 containerships and two vehicle carriers. The number of reservations that the canal has received from various types of neo-panamax vessels is growing by the week. This increasing demand is further evidence of the maritime industry’s continued trust in the expanded canal and the impact it will have on the future of global maritime trade.
For us in the Caribbean region, not only is it destined to have profound effects on container trade flows, ports and intermodal operations, but it widens the conversation among stakeholders about the strategic adaptive abilities of our sector, particularly when viewed in tandem with other critical global industry factors.