Panama Canal Sets New Tonnage Record - Global Trade Magazine
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  October 15th, 2015 | Written by

Panama Canal Sets New Tonnage Record

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  • Container ships registered the most total tonnage through the Panama Canal, followed by bulk and cars.
  • Liquid bulk saw the biggest boost in volume through the Panama Canal, thanks to exports from the U.S.
  • Seven new container liner services were introduced to the Panama Canal in January of this year.

Following the close of the 2015 fiscal year, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that it set a new historical tonnage record, welcoming 340.8 million tons through the canal.

The volume represented a 4.3 percent increase over 2014.

The previous record was set in fiscal year 2012 when the canal experienced 333.7 million tons. The 2015 record surpasses that amount by more than 7 million tons. The Panama Canal’s 2015 fiscal year ran from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

“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 and 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 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 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.

The car carrier segment recorded an increase of 5.2 percent as a result of exports from Mexico’s west coast to the U.S. east coast.