New locks of Panama Canal fully ready one day before inauguration

Tender drizzle welcomes the COSCO Houston freighter into the Cocoli Lock on June 23, one day before the Panama Canal inaugurates its new third lane connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

(Soundbite) Jorge Luis Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator.
“We already have more than nearly 170 reservations. Out of the 170, 162 are reservations for the next three months. By the end of our fiscal year on September 30, we will experience a major boom from the use of this new channel.”

With its Cocoli entrance on the Pacific side and the Agua Clara entrance on the Atlantic side, the new water passage is specially designed to accommodate the Neo-Panamax vessels, which can haul three times as much cargo as the smaller predecessors.

(Soundbite) Jorge Luis Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator.
“We see that a good number of shipping companies have already made change. They have planned to take our new route. The number is increasing. More container ships are coming here instead of the Suez Canal.”

More cargo on bigger ships means lower transport costs.
The 80-kilometer new waterway linking both oceans will allow 600 million tonnes of goods to pass, twice the current volume.
It will triple the 1 billion U.S. dollars in revenues it gets from shipping fees and save two weeks compared to the Suez Canal of Egypt.

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