PANAMA CITY, Panama - Following the close of the 2015 fiscal year, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that it has set a new historical tonnage record, welcoming 340.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) through the Canal. The spike represents a year-on-year increase of 4.3 percent and highlights the Canal’s value and significance to global maritime trade.
The previous record was set in FY2012 when the Canal experienced 333.7 million PC/UMS tons. This year’s record surpasses that amount by more than 7 million tons.
“The Panama Canal continuously works to provide its customers with reliable, first-rate service in response to evolving global shipping and maritime needs,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “This milestone attests to this commitment, which will only continue to increase after the opening of the expanded Canal.”
The Panama Canal noted that container ships registered the most total tonnage, followed by dry bulk, liquid bulk and car carriers. Compared to the other segments, liquid bulk saw the most notable boost, reporting an increase of 23 percent, or 11.9 million PC/UMS tons, due to booming diesel, gasoline and propane exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast to South America and Asia.
The container ship segment also recorded positive results, seeing a 3.7 percent 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 U.S. East Coast-Asia route, one U.S. West Coast-Europe route, and another one on the North-South route.
In addition, the car carrier segment recorded an increase of 5.2 percent as a result of exports from Mexico’s West Coast destined to the U.S. East Coast.
The Panama Canal’s 2015 fiscal year ran from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.