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New Panama Canal makes thousands of ships redundant

The expansion of the Panama Canal will make thousand of ships in the Panamax fleet redundant, projects Drewry in comments to ShippingWatch. This puts shipowners in a dilemma that could ultimately impact the whole industry.

Photo: Maersk Line

When the new and expanded Panama Canal is inaugurated, the event will have dramatic consequences on one of the most widely used vessel-types in the current market - the Panamax vessels - which as the name implies are built precisely to the limits of what fits in the locks at the Panama Canal as it is today.

With the wider locks there will be room for wider ships, and thus today's Panamax vessels will face tough competition, estimate Rahul Sharan, dry bulk analyst at Drewry, as well as Lars Jensen, CEO of Seaintelligence Consulting.

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