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Theodore Roosevelt CMA CGMPANAMA CANAL: August 22, 2017. The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, with a capacity for 14,855 TEU, has become the largest box ship to traverse the expanded Canal locks on its South Atlantic Express (SAX) sailing from Asia to the U.S. East Coast.

The weekly Ocean Alliance SAX service is composed of 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs, including some that also transited the Expanded Canal in May - becoming the largest capacity ships to do so at the time.

The CMA CGM vessel (right) originated in Shanghai and will make port calls at Savannah, Charleston and Norfolk before arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey, which recently completed a four-year, US$1.6 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge to accept ships larger than 9,500 TEU.

"Today's transit not only represents the growing success and adoption of the Expanded Canal, but also its impact on reshaping world trade," said Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano.

This includes helping mitigate climate change: By traveling via Panama, the vessel saved 29,561 tons of CO2 in bypassing the Cape of Good Hope.

According to the Panama Canal Authority (PAC), in its first year of operation the Expanded Canal has helped reduce 17 million tons of CO2 emissions due to shorter transits by larger vessels. For its next fiscal year beginning in October, the PAC expects to handle 13,000 vessels, including 2,335 Neopanamax, for a record 429.4 million Panama Canal tons.

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