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Alphaliner: Giant ships will dominate Panama

The new locks in the Panama Canal which will be taken into use in 2015 will result in a farewell to many panamax ships which will be replaced by overpanamax ships, Alphaliner states.

In 2015, the new Panama Canal locks will be finalised which will result in a displacement in the market for container ships in the panamax category, Alphaliner assesses. The largest container ships in the overpanamax segment will force the smaller ships out of the market. Of the 664 panamax vessels in the Alphaliner database, 301 ships are maxi panamaxes and 314 are handy panamaxes and the remaining 49 ships are not big enough to be maxi panamax but too big to be handy panamax.

According to Alphaliner, the maxi panamaxes struggle with a bad length-to-breadth ratio referring to the relationship between the length and the breadth of the ships. The optimal ratio is 7 but for some of the large containerships the ratio reaches 9. The bad ratio results in low stability, a high level of fuel consumption and potential problems with ballast water regulations.

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