24 Aug 2018;
On June 26th, 2016 the container ship “COSCO Shipping Panama” was the first vessel that officially passed through the expanded Panama Canal. Since then, the trade has gradually expanded and has developed into a critical part of the maritime infrastructure. On July 29th, 2018 the Panama Canal registered the transit of its 4,000th Neopanamax vessel, when the LNG carrier Maria Energy made the passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. In 2016 we wrote an Opinion (“To Fit or Retrofit”) indicating that oil tankers where initially only a small part of the ships transiting the Canal and that it would be interesting to see whether traders and oil companies would be able to develop trades that use the Canal. Now that the Canal has been open for a bit more than two years, we thought it would be interesting to review the current utilization of the Canal by Aframax and Suezmax tankers.
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