On June 26, the country of Panama celebrated as the first ship passed through the newly expanded Panama Canal. The container vessel COSCO Shipping Panama traveled through the new locks at Agua Clara as thousands cheered amid fireworks and bands playing.
The ship, measuring 158 feet wide and 984 feet long, is among the modern mega-container vessels now able to use the canal after the expansion, which began in 2007 with a price tag of $5.25 billion. The project doubled the waterway’s capacity.
Ports along the U.S. East Coast are deepening their channels and installing new cranes to accommodate the larger ships. Port Tampa Bay in Florida is gearing up for the Canal’s expansion and is investing $300 million in a multiphase build out.
The Port recently hosted its first Fresh From Florida Export Summit to reach out to growers to inform them about new trade opportunities for agriculture with the Panama Canal expansion.