The largest vessel in dimension and container cargo capacity ever to pass through the Panama Canal is headed for the Port of New York and New Jersey, arriving on May 30. The Neopanamax container ship Triton, built in 2015, has a TEU capacity of 14,424, a 20-row beam of 51.2 meters (168 feet), and is 369 meters (1,211 feet) in length.
The Triton is the first ship of this dimension to travel through the Panama Canal since the canal was expanded in 2016. In June of 2018, after more than two years of successfully operating the expanded canal, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) made a decision to increase the maximum beam allowable in the locks, raising the capacity from 49 meters to 51.25 meters.
The beam restriction increase enables larger box ships with 20 rows, rather than 19, to transit through the canal’s Neopanamax locks. While the maximum official ship length remains at 366 meters, the ACP makes exceptions on a case-by-case basis for vessels such as Triton and could increase the permissible ship length to 369 meters after a number of successful test runs.
The Triton is deployed on Evergreen’s Far East to U.S. East Coast service as part of the OCEAN Alliance network, which connects Asia and U.S. East Coast ports by means of the Panama Canal. Before Triton, the record for the longest container ship to transit the Panama Canal belonged to CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt. The 365.96-meter long, 48.252-meter wide ship with a 14,414 TEU capacity, passed through the canal on August 22, 2017. The ship also played a part in the inauguration of the newly raised Bayonne Bridge on September 7, 2017.