The Panama Canal Expansion project is the largest construction project undertaken in the waterway since its opening in 1914. The Expansion includes the construction of a new set of locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides and multiple dredging projects to create a second lane of traffic along the Canal. The new locks are much wider and deeper than the current locks. The project doubles the waterway's cargo capacity, enhancing Canal's efficiency.
Ships transiting the new Locks are required to comply with different requirements than Panamax ships. The most common non-compliance items are the location and safe working loads of mooring and towing equipment on board. Particularly chocks and bollards, which are used for the towing operation, need to withstand a safe working load of 90 tonnes, since the tugboats manoeuvre the ships with greater force than the locomotives would.
Ships transiting the new Locks for the first time are subject to inspection and prior review and approval of ship's plans. Ships not receiving advance approval and/or not in compliance with new Locks' requirements may experience delays or denial of transit.