Record Tonnage Moved Through Panama Canal in FY2018

The 9.5 percent increase from PY2017 was driven by the transit of liquefied petroleum gas and natural liquefied gas carriers, containerships, chemical tankers, and vehicle carriers.

Tonnage moved through the Panama Canal during its 2018 fiscal year set a new record, with 442.1 million Panama Canal tons -- a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year. The total surpassed the cargo projections of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons for FY2018, the Panama Canal Authority announced this month.

"The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing every day the importance of the waterway's expansion and its impact on global maritime trade," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. "This is the results of the efforts of our committed workforce who made this an extraordinary year."

The strong increase was driven by the transit of liquefied petroleum gas and natural liquefied gas carriers, containerships, chemical tankers, and vehicle carriers. By segment, the container segment continued to be the leading market segment for tonnage through the canal, accounting for 159 million PC/UMS tons of the total cargo. Tankers, which include liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas carriers, ranked second with 130.3 million PC/UMS tons, followed by bulk carriers (73.7 million PC/UMS tons) and vehicle carriers (49.5 million PC/UMS tons).

The main routes using the canal in FY2018 were between Asia and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and Europe, the West Coast of Central America and the U.S. East Coast, and intercoastal South America. The United States, China, Mexico, Chile, and Japan were the main users of the canal during the year.

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