The Panama Canal has closed the 2019 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 469 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), a 6.2 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.
With this figure, the waterway exceeds the 450.7 million PC/UMS tons projection for FY 2019, as well as the record tonnage of 442 million PC/UMS tons registered a year ago.
“These record-setting results reflect the canal workforce’s commitment to efficiency and ongoing investments in infrastructure, which will allow the waterway to meet the growing demand and offer a reliable and safe service to customers,” the Panama Canal Authority said.
During FY 2019, transits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) segments rose by 37.6 and 6.9 percent respectively, representing the largest gain across all segments. Additional segments with significant transit increases included crude product tankers with a 5.6 percent increase and vehicle carrier/RoRo with a 5.5 percent increase, compared to the previous fiscal year.
In terms of tonnage, the container segment continued to dominate with 164.87 million PC/UMS tons during FY 2019, of which 126.2 million PC/UMS tons transited through the Neopanamax locks. Leading segments also include bulk carriers at 76.5 million PC/UMS tons, vehicle carrier Ro/Ro at 53.1 million PC/UMS tons, chemical tankers at 44.3 million PC/UMS tons, LNG vessels at 43 million PC/UMS tons, LPG vessels at 37.8 million PC/UMS tons, crude product tankers at 22.6 million PC/UMS tons and passenger vessels at 9.9 million PC/UMS tons.
The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in the period connected the U.S. East Coast and Asia, followed by the U.S. East Coast and the West Coast of South America, Europe and the West Coast of South America, the U.S. East Coast and the West Coast of Central America, and the U.S. intercoastal route.
The main users of the waterway during FY 2019 were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.