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A new era in global trade begins, as $5.4-billion Panama Canal expansion opens

A new era in global trade begins, as $5.4-billion Panama Canal expansion opens

A Chinese freighter laden with nearly 9,500 metal cargo containers transited the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday, inaugurating the interoceanic waterway and opening a new era in global trade. 

As midmorning clouds dissipated over the 50-mile-long canal, the vessel Cosco Shipping Panama began moving through the new Caribbean-facing Agua Clara locks, part of a $5.4-billion expansion to allow for the passage of bigger ships through the historic waterway. The expansion has been nearly a decade in the making.

Whereas the original canal opened in 1914 to accommodate ships carrying as many as 5,500 cargo containers, the new locks...

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