Panama Canal increases vessel capacity

The Panama Canal can accommodate one additional vessel per day, thanks to a new tie-up station that became operational today.

Tie-up stations: enabling
more vessel traffic

The station keeps a vessel secured near the edge of the canal while southbound vessels navigate it. This will enable more than 40 vessels to travel the canal in total each day, the Panama Canal Authority announced in a statement. It is the second such station to become operational in the canal.

The authority financed the project through its revenues, according to a spokesperson.

The Panama Canal can currently accommodate vessels with maximum capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a standard of measure equivalent to the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.

The canal is undergoing a much larger multi-year, $5.25 billion program that will double its capacity by 2015, according to the authority’s estimates. The keystone of the project is the installation of new locks on both sides of the canal.

In March, three bidding groups submitted proposals for the locks. A winning bidder is expected to be announced in the next few months.