As of May 21, the maximum allowable length for vessels transiting the Panama Canal’s Neopanamax Locks has increased from 367.28 meters (1,205 feet) to 370.33 meters (1,215 feet).
With this increase, 96.8% of the world’s container fleet can now transit the canal, thereby shortening routes and benefiting economies around the world.
The Panama Canal Authority also increased the maximum allowable draft to 15.24 meters (50 feet).
By offering larger capacity along with shorter travel distances, the canal reduces vessels’ fuel consumption and emissions and helps reduce global greenhouse gases.
The changes in allowable vessel length and draft were made in anticipation of the fifth anniversary of the canal’s expansion, on June 26.
The Panama Canal is an important outlet for containerized grain shipped from the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts destined for China and other Asian countries