The Panama Canal’s 10,000 Neopanamax transit through the expanded canal was undertaken this week by the LNGC ‘SK Resolute’.
On voyage from the US to China, the 180,000 cu m LNGC transited the canal on 10th August.
Significant reductions in LNGC voyage times offered by the new locks helped to create a highly competitive route for US gas deliveries to major Asian importers, the Panama Canal Authority claimed.
The Neopanamax locks have handled 27% of transits and half of total tonnage using the canal. The LNG segment represents 12% of transits of the expanded canal.
"Reaching this mark just over four years after the opening of the expanded canal, reaffirms the competitiveness of the inter-oceanic highway, backed by the continuous, safe and reliable service that we have maintained in the midst of the current world situation," said the administrator of the Panama Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.
The pandemic’s impact on global trade, as well as the trade wars and the suspension of the cruise industry took their toll on the Panama Canal’s operations. In May, for example, a 21% drop in the number of ships making the transit was reported.
During that month, 937 ships transited the canal while an additional 260 transits were cancelled according to Vásquez. Nearly half of the cancelations came from LNG and LPG sectors.