The Panama Canal has broken its fiscal year handling record after it handled 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), a 9.5% increase on 2017.
The results were greater than the projection of 429.4 million PC/UMS – a measurement of net tonnage modified for the Panama Canal – that was predicted for the fiscal year, which ended on September 30.
Containers was the Canal’s strongest performing segment, accounting for 159 million PC/UMS of its total traffic – 112.6 million of which passed through the newly extended canal.
However, the Canal insists the majority of the increase was driven by the transit of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, containerships, chemical tanker and vehicle carriers.
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The main routes using the Canal were between Asia and the US East Coast, the West Coast of South America and Europe, the West Coast of Central America and US East Coast and inter-coastal South America.
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The countries that used it the most were the United States, Mexico, China, Chile and Japan; 62.8% of all cargo that travelled through it either originated from was destined for the US.
Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said: “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.
“This is the results of the efforts of our committed workforce who made this an extraordinary year.”