Inauguration of expanded Panama Canal ushers in new era of global trade
The expanded Panama Canal is officially open for business.
During the official inauguration ceremony June 26, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano spoke to a crowd of more than 25,000 people, including nearly 1,000 journalists. This is the first expansion of the waterway since its original construction.
“More than 100 years ago, the Panama Canal connected two oceans. Today, we connect the present and the future,” said Quijano, speaking to the people of Panama. “It is an honor to announce that we did it together: providing this great connection to the world. This is the beginning of a new era.”
“Canal users can be assured that we’ll continue to support the Panama Canal Authority and our port operators to provide them a world-class service and strengthen our logistics system by creating the necessary incentives and conditions to give added value to our inter-oceanic route,” said Varela.
The inaugural transit began with the passage of Neopanamax vessel COSCO Shipping Panama through the Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side of the country and concluded with its transit through the Cocoli Locks on the Pacific side. The ship is en route to Asia.