A Panamax vessel is a ship that has the maximum dimensions which will allow it to pass through the lock chambers of the Panama canal. Such a vessel has a maximum beam of 32.3 meters and lengths of up to 290 meters. The largest Panamax container vessels carry up to 4,442 TEUs with approximately 60,000 deadweight tons (dwt).

A plan to expand the Panama Canal's capacity was approved in 2006. This plan will improve the capacity of the lock system by adding a third set of locks. The new locks, dubbed Panamax II, will be 55 meters wide and 427 meters long. This lock set will handle vessels of 12000 TEU in size.

Compare Suezmax.

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