Box ships dominate Panama Canal's record tonnage

Overall tonnage for the fiscal year ended 31 September 2019 reached 469M Panama Canal tonnes (PC/UMS), a 6.2% increase compared to FY2018. The Panama Canal Authority stated “With this figure, the waterway exceeds the 450.7M PC/UMS tonnes projection for FY2019, as well as the record tonnage of 442M PC/UMS tonnes registered in the previous fiscal year.

“These record-setting results reflect the Canal workforce’s commitment to efficiency and ongoing investments in infrastructure, which will allow the waterway to meet growing demand and offer a reliable and safe service to customers.”

The leading tonnage provider was the container segment with 164.87M PC/UMS tonnes during FY2019, of which 126.2M PC/UMS tonnes transited through the Neopanamax Locks. Leading segments also include bulk carriers at 76.5M PC/UMS tonnes, vehicle carrier roro at 53.1M PC/UMS tonnes, chemical tankers at 44.3M PC/UMS tonnes, LNG vessels at 43M PC/UMS tonnes, LPG vessels at 37.8M PC/UMS tonnes, crude product tankers at 22.6M PC/UMS tonnes and passenger vessels at 9.9M PC/UMS tonnes.

The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in FY2019 include between the US east coast and Asia, followed by the US east coast and the west coast of South America, Europe and the west coast of South America, the US east coast and the west coast of Central America, and the US intercoastal route.

The main users of the waterway during FY2019 were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.