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Panama Canal welcomes largest capacity container vessel to-date


Panama City, Panama — The Panama Canal welcomed the largest capacity vessel to ever transit the Expanded Locks, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt. The Neopanamax containership, which began its voyage from Asia, will be making stops along 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. To put the scale of this enormous ship into perspective, its length is roughly the equivalent of laying end to end two Great Pyramids of Giza, four Big Bens, or eight Statues of Liberty.

“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.

The 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, including vessels which also transited the Expanded Canal earlier in May becoming the largest capacity ships to do so at time.

In addition to the vessel’s record-breaking capacity, what’s notable about the transit of the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is that it also highlights the Panama Canal’s ability to reduce CO2 emissions compared to alternative routes. By traveling through Panama, the vessel saved 29,561 tons of CO2 in bypassing the Cape of Good Hope.

Emission reductions have been a key focus of the Expanded Canal, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in June. In its first year of operation, the Expanded Canal contributed to the reduction of 17 million tons of CO2 thanks to the shorter traveling distance and larger cargo carrying capacity that it offers to customers.