Problems with Tugs and Infrastructure Hobble New Panama Canal Locks, says Masters, Mates & Pilots Apr 24 2017
Larger ships, known as Neopanamax, were expected to visit ports on the Eastern Seaboard this year, bringing shipping containers from Asia through an expanded Panama Canal. But due to insufficient operational resources within the Panama Canal, far fewer ships than expected have made the passage.
The $9.4 billion investment by the Panama Canal Authority in a third set of locks was supposed to double the tonnage capacity of the Canal. However, according to the Authority's own transit records, the new locks are operating at about half their anticipated capacity. A shortage of tugs and trained crews has limited the Authority's ability to efficiently move the mega-ships through the locks. Instead of the anticipated 12 vessel transits per day through the expanded canal, only a maximum of six are being completed.
Read more in an article from the American Journal of Transportation