Today, following the Expanded Panama Canal’s first month of operations, the Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano presented representatives of shipping lines and shipping agents with an update on the operations of the Expanded Canal, ensuring customers about the safe operation of the new locks.
“We are very pleased with the first month of activity at the Expanded Canal,” said Mr. Quijano. “We have the highest esteem for our customers, and we are glad that they have decided to come on board to be part of the newly expanded Canal.”
The Administrator explained to those in attendance that more than 70 vessels have transited since the Expanded Canal’s opening, with only a minor incident taking place.
During the meeting, customers reiterated their confidence and satisfaction with the levels of safety and service offered by the Panama Canal, and Mr. Quijano echoed the Canal’s commitment to safety and the training of its highly-skilled workforce.
Since the Canal’s transfer of ownership on December 31, 1999, the Panama Canal Authority has implemented a number of measures to greatly improve the Canal’s efficiency and safety, thereby increasing customer confidence. Just last year, in FY 2015, the Canal achieved a 0.1% incident rate, while also transiting a record amount of cargo tonnage.
Representatives of shipping lines MOL, Maersk, MSC, Hamburg Sud, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and China COSCO Shipping were in attendance, as well as shipping agents Wilhemsen Ship Service, Norton Lilly International, Continental Agencies S.A., Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Unigreen Marine S.A., Boyd Steamship Corporation, Associated Steamship Agents, S.A., and C. B. Fenton.
“We look forward to setting more milestones and making more progress to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations and the quality of service they have come to expect at the Panama Canal,” said the Administrator. “Our commitment to our customers and the maritime industry is paramount.”