Panama Canal Sets New Tonnage Record

Published Dec 18, 2012 12:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Panama Canal set a mark in its history as it reached a new tonnage record of 333.7 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) during fiscal year 2012 which concluded on September 30.  This achievement highlights the value of Panama and its significance as a link in the chain of global trade.

"This milestone attests to the reliable and continuous service offered by the Canal, which is supported by a workforce of 10,000 men and women. The Panama Canal works tirelessly to provide its customers with first-rate service, including new products and services in response to their evolving shipping and maritime needs," said Panama Canal Authority Administrator/CEO Jorge Luis Quijano.

Preliminary figures showed that the Panama Canal closed fiscal year 2012 with 333.7 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS).  This figure represents an increase of 11.6 million Panama Canal tons or 3.6% compared to the 322.1 million tons registered last year, and also surpasses the previous 2007 record of 312.9 million tons.  (Under PC/UMS, a mathematical formula is applied to the vessel´s total volume or cargo carrying capacity).

PC/UMS tonnage during the most recent fiscal years of the Panama Canal: 

FY                      PC/UMS
                          (in millions)

2002                   235.1
2003                   242.7
2004                   266.9
2005                   279.3
2006                   297.8
2007                   312.9
2008                   309.6
2009                   299.1
2010                   300.8
2011                   322.1
2012                   333.7

During fiscal year 2012, Canal Waters Time (CWT) averaged 25.66 hours.  The top market segments during this fiscal year were full container vessels with 119.8 million Panama Canal tons, followed by dry bulk carriers (83.4 million Panama Canal tons) and tankers (51.6 million Panama Canal tons).

The Panama Canal´s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.