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Panama Canal Sets New Traffic Record

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

26 November 2015

Following the close of its 2015 fiscal year, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced on October 9 that it set a new tonnage record, after welcoming 340.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) through the Canal – a 4.3 percent year-on-year increase.

The previous record was set in FY2012 when the Canal facilitated 333.7 million PC/UMS tons. This year's record surpasses that amount by more than seven million tons.

"The Panama Canal continuously works to provide its customers with reliable, first-rate service in response to evolving global shipping and maritime needs," said Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge Quijano. "This milestone attests to this commitment, which will only continue to increase after the opening of the expanded Canal."

The Panama Canal noted that container ships registered the most total tonnage, followed by dry bulk, liquid bulk, and car carriers. Compared with the other segments, liquid bulk saw the most notable boost, reporting an increase of 23 percent, or 11.9 million PC/UMS tons, due to booming diesel, gasoline, and propane exports from the US Gulf Coast to South America and Asia.

The container ship segment also recorded positive results, seeing a 3.7 percent increase in PC/UMS tonnage year-on-year. Seven new liner services were introduced in January of this year which also contributed to the increase in cargo passing through the Canal: five in the US East Coast-Asia route, one US West Coast-Europe route, and another one on the North-South route.

In addition, the car carrier segment recorded an increase of 5.2 percent as a result of exports from Mexico's West Coast destined to the US East Coast.

TAGS: marine | Mexico | Panama | services | Europe | South America

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