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Panama Canal records historical tonnage

Panama Canal records historical tonnage
The Panama Canal Authority has closed fiscal year 2015 with a record tonnage of 340.8m PC/UMS tonnes (Panama Canal Universal System Tonnage), which an increase of 4.3% compared to 326.4m tonnes in fiscal year 2014.

Full year 2015 Panama Canal began 1 October 2014 and ended on 30 September 2015.

This figure represents an increase of 7.1m tonnes compared to the previous record of 333.7m PC/UMS tonnes set in fiscal year 2012.


"This historic tonnage reflects once again our commitment to ensure an efficient, safe and competitive operation for our customers," said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge Luis Quijano.


The increase was driven by the segment of liquid bulk, which reported an increase 11.9m PC/UMS tonnes, a growth of 23% over the previous year as a result of booming exports of diesel, gasoline and propane from the Gulf of Mexico, USA, bound for South America and Asia.


The container ship segment also recorded positive results, seeing a 3.7% 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 US East Coast-Asia route, one US West Coast-Europe route, and another one on the North-South route.


The introduction of new services in the Asia to the US East Coast route is the result of the diversion of cargo from the US West Coast problems during negotiations on the renewal of contracts between labour unions and management of the ports.


Similarly, vehicle carriers saw a 5.2% growth as a result of exports from the west coast of Mexico for the US East Coast market.