Panamax Vessels Dwarf Miraflores Lock Chambers

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Panamax

The Panama Canal Authority shared a photo of a China registered Panamax category vessel Yun Long Feng.  This bulk carrier built in 2012 is 75,394 dwt.  The picture shows the huge vessel waiting for the 101-year-old Miraflores Lock chambers to fill, for it to pass.  Canal’s lock chambers and the height of the Bridge of America appear dwarfed by the size of the vessel.

Dimensions of the Canal locks:

The current Canal’s lock chambers are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide, 1,050 ft (320.04 m) long, and 41.2 ft (12.56 m) deep.

Each lock chamber allows up to 1000 ft of its length for the usage of a moving vessel.  The chamber has varying depths at various points.  At its shallowest it is 41.2 feet deep at the Pedro Miguel Locks and it is 54.6 feet deep at the Miraflores Lake level.  The draft limitations in the canal allow for Panamax cargo of maximum weight of 52,500 tonnes only to transit the canal.  However, the Panama Canal after its current expansion project will be able to accommodate New Panamax vessels with a cargo capacity of up to 120,000 tonnes.

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