Panama Canal sets new annual tonnage record

Panama Canal sets new annual tonnage record

The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year (FY 2018) with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), marking a 9.5 percent increase from 2017.

The total tonnage for the year is greater than the 429.4 million PC/UMS tons forecast for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2017.

The Panama Canal Authority said the increase was driven by the transit of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural liquefied gas (LNG) carriers, containerships, chemical tankers and vehicle carriers.

“The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing every day the importance of the waterway’s expansion and its impact on global maritime trade,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “This is the results of the efforts of our committed workforce who made this an extraordinary year.”

The container segment continued to be the leading market segment for tonnage through the Canal, accounting for 159 million PC/UMS tons of the total cargo, of which 112.6 million PC/UMS tons transited the Expanded Canal.

Tankers – which include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers – represented the following market segment with 130.3 million PC/UMS tons.

The next segments included bulk carriers (73.7 million PC/UMS tons) and vehicle carriers (49.5 million PC/UMS tons).

In terms of cargo tonnage, the Panama Canal Authority said main routes using the Panama Canal in FY 2018 were between Asia and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and Europe, the West Coast of Central America and the U.S. East Coast and intercoastal South America.

The main users during FY 2018 were the United States, China, Mexico, Chile and Japan. A total of 62.8 percent of the total cargo transiting the Canal has its origin or destination in the United States.   

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