Panama Canal Sets All-Time Tonnage Record in 2015

Photo: Chris Jenner / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Chris Jenner / Shutterstock.com

 

A record amount of cargo passed through the Panama Canal in fiscal year 2015, the Panama Canal Authority has announced.

The ACP reports that in 2015, a record 340.8 million ‘Panama Canal tons) (PC/UMS) passed through the Canal, marking an all-time record for the 101-year-old waterway. The spike represents a year-on-year increase of 4.3 percent.

The Panama Canal’s 2015 fiscal year ran from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

The ACP noted that containerships registered the most total tonnage, followed by dry bulk, liquid bulk and car carriers. Compared to out segments, liquid bulk saw the biggest 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.

The container ship segment also recorded positive results with 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, the ACP said.

Meanwhile, 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, according to the ACP.

“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.”

The new tonnage record comes ahead of the opening of the expanded Panama Canal now scheduled for April 2016.