Panama Canal Sets Monthly Tonnage Record

Neopanamax ships transit the Panama Canal's new Agua Clara locks, located on the Atlantic side of the waterway. Photo: Panama Canal Authority
Neopanamax ships transit the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara locks, located on the Atlantic side of the waterway, in this undated photo provided by the Panama Canal Authority. Photo: ACP

The Panama Canal set a new monthly tonnage record in January 2017 with 36.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) and 1,260 ships transiting through both the Expanded and original locks.

The previous record was established the month prior, in December 2016, when 1,166 ships transited the waterway for a total of 35.4 million PC/UMS. Prior to the inauguration of the Expanded Canal on June 26, 2016, the monthly tonnage record was 30.4 million PC/UMS, which was set in October 2014.

“This increase reiterates the importance of the Expanded Canal, and it’s further proof of the maritime industry’s continued confidence in the Panama Canal and the impact it will have on the future of global trade,” said the Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

Seven months after the inauguration of the Panama Canal’s new Neopanamax locks, the Expanded Canal has already transited more than 750 Neopanamax vessels – more than 50 percent of which were container ships. In addition, the Expanded Canal has also expanded to accommodate liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, as well as larger bulk carriers, tankers and vehicle carriers.

In April 2017, the Panama Canal will mark the passage of the first Neopanamax cruise ships through the new locks.