Panama City - The Panama Canal has closed the 2019 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 469 million tons, a 6.2 percent increase compared to 2018. With this figure, writes the Panama Canal Authority in a statement, the waterway exceeds the 450.7 million tons projection for 2019, as well as the record tonnage of 442 million tons registered in the previous fiscal year.
These results, says the Authority, 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.
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 tons during FY 2019, of which 126.2 million tons transited through the Neopanamax Locks. Leading segments also include bulk carriers at 76.5 million tons, vehicle carrier Ro/Ro at 53.1 million tons, chemical tankers at 44.3 million tons, LNG vessels at 43 million tons, LPG vessels at 37.8 million tons, crude product tankers at 22.6 million tons and passenger vessels at 9.9 million tons. Main routes and users The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in FY19 include between 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 fiscal year 2019 were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.