The Panama Canal was inaugurated on the last 26th of June, in a ceremony attended by approximately seven dozens of Heads of State and Government, in addition to the 20.000 people who waited for the passage of the container vessel Andronikus, belonging to the Chinese ship owner COSCO, with capacity for 9.400TEU. According to the technical specifications of the new sluice gate of the Panama Canal, it now allows the passage of ships from 12.500 to 13.000TEU.
João Franco, APS' CEO was one of the ceremony guests, framed within the Cooperation Protocol between the Port of Sines and the Panama Canal and the close relationship with the IPDAL - Institute for Promotion and Development of Latin America. In fact, Sines’ Container Terminal - Terminal XXI, offers two regular services crossing the Panama Canal, connecting Sines to the main ports of the West Coast of the USA and Vancouver (Canada), namely the California Express, a weekly service started in January 2012 and the NWC to Long Beach & Oakland, a bi-weekly service that is operating since May 2015, both performed by MSC - Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second world ship-owner.
The enlargement of the canal brings direct benefits to the Port of Sines in terms of increased capacity of vessels and greater connectivity with the Pacific-American economies, many of them with very interesting GDP growth.