It is a rainy morning on April 29, and the Panama Canal works as usual.
But at the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in Panama City, something significant is happening.
China’s overseas shipping giant COSCO wins the lottery to help inaugurate the expanded canal with one of its mega vessels.
(Soundbite) Paul Xu, President of COSCO Panama
“As I said, we are a new company and this new locker is a new project in Panama, so I think this is a good opportunity for both.”
COSCO’s Andronikos, over 8 meters high and almost 300 meters long, will be the first cargo boat to pass the new locker.
(Soundbite) Jorge Luis Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator
“June 26 will be a very special day for all Panamanians. It is a milestone in the history of world trade, because we will inaugurate the new project that promotes greater efficiency for various economies.”
More than 100 cargo ships have made reservations for commercial transit through the new locker to be operated on June 27, one day after its opening.