• Panama Canal and PortMiami extend their 13-year alliance with MOU renewal; First Neopanamax vessel to call on PortMiami arrives after transit through the Expanded Canal

Panama City, Panama, July 9, 2016 – Today, another milestone agreement was reached as Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano and PortMiami Director Juan M. Kuryla renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote trade opportunities and share best customer practices.

The renewal of the MOU-which extends the 13 year-plus alliance enjoyed by both parties-demonstrates the value of the Panama Canal and its commitment to US East Coast ports. It also coincides with a ceremony held by PortMiami to celebrate the arrival of the MOL Majesty, the first Miami-bound Neopanamax vessel to transit the expanded Canal.

Owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd, the MOL Majesty measures 302 meters (990.81 feet) in length and 43.4 meters (142.39 feet) in beam, and called upon the port amidst much fanfare.

Administrator Quijano attended Saturday’s celebration where he delivered remarks about the added trade opportunities and economic benefits the agreement will bring to their respective regions.

“This is a great day that signals the beginning of a new era for shipping,” said Mr. Quijano. “For the first time, we have these mega vessels transiting our waterway and calling at your port. This groundbreaking development will undoubtedly bring economic prosperity, as well increased opportunities and revenues to both PortMiami and the Panama Canal.”

Thirteen years ago PortMiami and the Panama Canal Authority first signed its MOU. Since then, PortMiami has invested in a number of critical infrastructure improvements to deepen its channel to accommodate Neopanamax vessels, and improve the traffic flow and movement of the cargo it receives.

With the new locks now operational, Neopanamax ships have begun transiting the waterway toward US Gulf and East Coast ports, such Port of New York and New Jersey and Houston, and are expected to call on additional ports which are similarly investing in infrastructure projects to take advantage of the Canal Expansion. Neopanamax ships transiting the Panama Canal have also headed to ports in Asia and the Caribbean, such as Cartagena.

Not only has the Canal successfully transited these vessels through its expanded waterway, several of them have called at Panamanian port terminals to discharge and load cargo on the way to its final destinations, thus making full use of the connectivity offered at the Panama Canal.

The full list of groups the Panama Canal has signed MOUs with can be found here: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/acp/acuerdos/index.html

About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com  or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.

About the Panama Canal Expansion Program
The Expansion Program is the largest enhancement project since the Canal’s opening in 1914. Considered and analyzed for a decade with more than 100 studies, the Expansion provides the world’s shippers, retailers, manufacturers and consumers with greater shipping options, better maritime service, enhanced logistics and supply-chain reliability. The Expansion included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the waterway and the excavation of more than 150 million cubic meters of material, creating a third lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway. While the Expanded locks are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit. In line with its commitment to customer service, the Panama Canal will continue to provide the world with value for another century and beyond.