On April 29, 2016, China COSCO Shipping Corporation won the draw for the first transit through the newly expanded Panama Canal during its inauguration on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The draw took place at the Panama Canal Administration Building on the morning of the 29thwhere the Panama Canal Administrator and a Notary Public chose and announced the winner.
The Panama Canal had invited its top 15 customers to participate in the draw and each were required to indicate the Neopanamax vessel’s name, type and dimensions that it planned to deploy. The proposed vessels could not surpass a maximum beam of 49 meters and a maximum overall length of 366 meters. China COSCO’s 9,400-TEU MV Andronikos will be utilized to make the inaugural transit.
"It is a great honor to have one of our top customers celebrate this historical moment with us," said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano. "We are excited and prepared to continue providing the same reliable and efficient service within the Expanded Panama Canal that our customers have come to expect through the years."
Commercial transit through the new locks will begin on June 27, 2016, the day after the historic inauguration.
Congratulations to China COSCO Shipping for being the winner in what will be a truly memorable moment in maritime history!