Definition of Panamax in US English:



  • Denoting a ship having the maximum permissible dimensions (length, breadth, and draft) for transiting the Panama Canal, with a dead-weight capacity of about 75,000 tons.

    • ‘The earnings of the Panamax vessels have gone up to $24,534 per day from $15,943 while the freight rate of other vessels has increased to $16,075 per day from $13,700.’
    • ‘The plant will have an estimated crushing capacity of 600,000 metric tons… and access to the export terminal as well as 240,000 tons of storage space and two Panamax vessel loaders…’
    • ‘Even with a single Panamax ship, the Corporation would get less revenue as one 950 ft ship will generate less tax revenue than two 650 ft vessels and will be able to process its own sewage.’
    • ‘The port has also raised a $35.4m loan for deepening the entrance channel and basins in order to admit Panamax vessels.’
    • ‘The first phase's 1,800-ft quay, four Panamax cranes and six acres of container yard will be followed by another quay and eventual capacity of 1 million TEUs a year.’


1980s: blend of Panama and the adjective maximum.