Panama Canal Welcomes 5,000th Neopanamax Transit
The Panama Canal welcomed its 5,000th Neopanamax vessel through the waterway on Monday. The COSCO Faith container ship transited southbound from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The vessel has a 13,345 total TEU allowance (TTA) and measures 366 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam. The COSCO Faith is part of Ocean Alliance's Manhattan Bridge-AWE2 service, between Asia and the U.S. East Coast.
Of the 5,000 Neopanamax vessels that have transited to date, 51 percent have been container ships. LPG carries constitute another 26 percent, and LNG carriers, a relatively new segment to the Panama Canal, make up 10 percent. Dry and liquid bulk carriers, car carriers and cruise ships make up the remaining transits.
The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year. This result, for the year ending September 30, surpassed the cargo projections for the year of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons.
The main routes using the Panama Canal in FY 2018 were between Asia and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and the U.S. East Coast, the West Coast of South America and Europe, the West Coast of Central America and the U.S. East Coast and intercoastal South America. The main users during FY 2018 were the U.S., China, Mexico, Chile and Japan. 62.8 percent of the total cargo transiting the Canal has its origin or destination in the U.S.
Earlier this year, the Panama Canal increased the total available booking slots to eight daily for its Neopanamax Locks.