The Panama Canal has set a new monthly tonnage record, handling 38.1 million tons of cargo in May 2018.
This marks the third time the Panama Canal has set a new monthly record since its expansion in 2016 as it facilitated the transit of 1,231 vessels last month.
The previous record was established in January 2017, when 1,260 vessels transited 36.1 million tons through the waterway, just a month after setting the record with 35.4 million tons transited by 1,166 vessels in December 2016.
Container ships made up the largest segment in tonnage at 36%, breaking its segment record with 13.8 million tons transited by 229 vessels.
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Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano, commented: “This new historical milestone reiterates the positive effect of the Expanded Canal and is further proof of the continued confidence of the maritime industry in the Panama Canal, and the impact it will have on the future of world maritime trade.”
Since the development of the larger locks in the canal, the waterway has received approximately 3,800 Neopanamax vessels — half of which have been containerships.
On March 7, 2018 the Panama Canal added an additional reservation slot for Neopanamax vessels, raising the total availability from seven to eight per day.
The board of directors and the Panama Canal Authority advisory board have met in the US city of Norfolk in Virginia to address issues pertaining to the interoceanic highway
The Panama Canal Administration transited three LNG vessels through its Neopanamax locks on April 17, 2018, marking a first for the waterway