Panama Canal posts 6.2% increase to hit record tonnage in FY 2019

Panama Canal ended the 2019 fiscal year (FY19) with a record tonnage of 469m Panama Canal tonnes (PC/UMS), a 6.2% increase compared to FY2018.

The volume exceeded the 450.7m PC/UMS tonnes projected for FY2019, as well as the record tonnage of 442m PC/UMS tonnes registered in the previous fiscal year.

During FY19, transits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) segments rose by 37.6% and 6.9% respectively, representing the largest gain across all segments. Additional segments with significant transit increases included crude product tankers with a 5.6 % increase and vehicle carrier/ro-ro with a 5.5% increase, compared to 2018.

In terms of tonnage, the container segment continued to dominate with 164.87m PC/UMS tonnes during FY 2019, of which 126.2m PC/UMS tonnes transited through the neo-panamax Locks. Leading segments also include bulk carriers at 76.5m PC/UMS tonnes, vehicle carrier ro-ro at 53.1m PC/UMS tonnes, chemical tankers at 44.3m PC/UMS tonnes, LNG vessels at 43m PC/UMS tonnes, LPG vessels at 37.8m PC/UMS tonnes, crude product tankers at 22.6m PC/UMS tonnes and passenger’s vessels at 9.9m PC/UMS tonnes.

The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in FY19 include between the U.S. East Coast and Asia, followed by the US East Coast and the West Coast of South America, Europe and the West Coast of South America, the US East Coast and the West Coast of Central America, and the US inter-coastal route. The main users of the waterway during FY19 were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.

Posted 10 October 2019

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Michele Labrut

Author Bio ▼

Americas Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime News Seatrade correspondent Michele Labrut has continuously covered the maritime sector of Central & Latin America since moving to Panama City in the 1980s. Author of Seatrade's annual Panama Maritime Review and of several books, Michele also writes for Time magazine and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of Merit (Knight grade) by the French Government for her services to international journalism.

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