Last week saw two big developments for the Georgia Ports Authority. First, the Panama Canal completed its expansion with massive new locks to allow for larger container ships to pass through the crucial isthmus. According to Governor Nathan Deal’s office, experts estimate the larger ships that will now be able to transit the canal will provide savings of between 20 and 40% per container slot.

Prior to the expansion, the Panama Canal could handle vessels up to a 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU) capacity. Now that number has increased to 14,000. Very big. Not all ships are made the same but for a little more perspective, one of the 14,000 TEU ships, the MSC Danit, operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, has a length of 1,199 ft, roughly one-fifth of a mile. Four football fields. It has a deadweight tonnage, roughly the maximum amount it can carry, of 165,000 metric tons, or 330,000,000 pounds. 

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