The Panama Canal registered an increase in tonnage to 326.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) during fiscal year 2014 ending on September 30, according to results released this week by the Panama Canal Authority. This figure represents a 2 percent increase compared to the 320.6 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2013.
The increase was primarily driven by the bulk carrier segment, which registered an 18.2 percent increase totaling 85.9 million PC/UMS tons, compared to the 72.7 million PC/UMS tons registered the previous year, according to the ACP. The dynamic movement of bulk through the Panama Canal in the last year is attributed to the surge in grain cargo flows from the US Gulf to Asia.
Other top market segments during FY 2014 included car carriers with 45.8 million PC/UMS and gas carriers with 6.0 million PC /UMS tons, which increased 6.7 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively.
The Panama Canal’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.
The Panama Canal is in the midst of the $5.2 billion expansion project which involves adding larger third of locks capable of handling vessels up to 49 meters (160 feet) wide, 366 meters (1,200 feet) long and 15 meters (50 feet) deep, or with a cargo volume of up to 170,000 DWT and 13,000 TEU. The project is expected to effectively double the Canal’s throughput capacity. The new Third Set of Locks are expected to be operational by January 2016.