Panama Canal sets annual tonnage record

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported a new historical tonnage record, with 340.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) passing through the Canal in the 2015 fiscal year ended September 30.

The previous record was set in FY2012 with 333.7 million PC/UMS tons.

“The Panama Canal continuously works to provide its customers with reliable, first-rate service in response to evolving global shipping and maritime needs,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano.

“This milestone attests to this commitment, which will only continue to increase after the opening of the expanded Canal.”

ACP noted that container ships registered the most total tonnage, followed by dry bulk, liquid bulk and car carriers.

Compared to the other segments, liquid bulk saw the most notable boost, reporting an increase of 23 percent, or 11.9 million PC/UMS tons, due to booming diesel, gasoline and propane exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast to South America and Asia, ACP says.

The container ship segment also recorded positive results, seeing a 3.7 percent increase in PC/UMS tonnage year-on-year. Seven new liner services were introduced in January of this year which also contributed to the increase in cargo passing through the Canal: five in the U.S. East Coast-Asia route, one U.S. West Coast-Europe route, and another one on the North-South route.

In addition, the car carrier segment recorded an increase of 5.2 percent as a result of exports from Mexico’s West Coast destined to the U.S. East Coast. 

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