Container Ships Lead Record Year for Panama Canal
The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year.
This results, for the year ending September 30, surpassed the cargo projections for the year of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons.
The container segment continued to serve as 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 LPG and LNG carriers – were the second leading market segment with 130.3 million PC/UMS tons. The next leading segments included bulk carriers (73.7 million PC/UMS tons) and vehicle carriers (49.5 million PC/UMS tons).
The 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 U.S., China, Mexico, Chile and Japan. 62.8 percent of the total cargo transiting the Canal has its origin or destination in the U.S.
Earlier this year, the Panama Canal increased the total available booking slots to eight daily for its Neopanamax Locks.