First ultra large container vessel transits the Panama Canal

First ultra large container vessel transits the Panama Canal

The 14,855 teu capacity CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt became the first ever ultra large container vessel (ULCV) to transit the Panama Canal yesterday in another example of how the expanded waterway is reshaping global trade.

ULCVs are classed as boxships with more than 14,000 teu capacity. The previous record-sized boxship to transit the canal was the 13,926 teu OOCL France, a ship that in modern shipping parlance is now termed as a neopanamax.

“Today’s transit not only represents the growing success and adoption of the expanded canal, but also its impact on reshaping world trade,” said Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano.

The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is deployed on the Ocean Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, from Asia to the US East Coast. The ship will become the largest to call at the American ports of Norfolk, Savannah, and Charleston in the coming days.

The ship’s name is a neat quirk of history; it was President Theodore Roosevelt who in 1904 took control of the construction of the original interoceanic waterway.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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