Record Tonnage Moved Through Panama Canal in FY2017

A total of 13,548 vessels passed through the canal during the fiscal year, representing a 3.3 percent increase from the year before. The fact that larger Neopanamax vessels now can transit the canal made the 22 percent growth in tonnage possible.

The Panama Canal Authority announced a record amount of cargo moved through the expanded canal during its fiscal year 2017 -- 403.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS). This was the highest amount of annual tonnage ever transited in its 103-year history and a 22.2 percent increase from the previous year, which the authority attributed to the added capacity provided by the expansion.

Its report said a total of 13,548 vessels passed through the canal during the fiscal year, representing a 3.3 percent increase from the year before. The fact that larger Neopanamax vessels now can transit the canal made the growth in tonnage possible. The authority had projected cargo would reach 399 million PC/UMS during the year.

"This year's success is a testament to the Expanded Canal's success," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. "These record figures reflect not only the industry's confidence in the Expanded Canal, but also illustrate the Panama Canal's continued ability to transform the global economy and revitalize the maritime industry."

The largest ship passing through the canal during the year was the Neopanamax containership CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt in August 2017. It measures 365.96 meters in length and 48.252 meters in beam with a Total TEU Allowance of 14,863. The ship traveled to the Port of New York and New Jersey for the inauguration of the raised Bayonne Bridge.

During the fiscal year, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, and Colombia were some of the top users of the canal, while the United States continued to be the main user of the waterway, representing the origin or destination for 68.3 percent of the total cargo transiting the canal.

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