Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Record Levels of Panama Canal Transits for Container Vessels and other Gas Carriers and Cargo Ships

New Locks Make an Impact on World Trade
Shipping News Feature
PANAMA – Driven by the increased cargo capacity offered by the new locks, the Panama Canal set a new monthly tonnage record in January 2017, having only set the record the month prior. The canal recorded 36.1 million Panama Canal tonnes (PC/UMS) through the recently expanded waterway, with the transit of 1,260 ships through both the new and original locks.

December 2016 saw 1,166 ships transit the waterway for a total of 35.4 million PC/UMS, a record for the Panama Canal to that point. Prior to the inauguration of the Expanded Canal on June 26, 2016, the monthly tonnage record was 30.4 million PC/UMS, which was set in October 2014. Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano, said:

“This increase reiterates the importance of the Expanded Canal, and it’s further proof of the maritime industry’s continued confidence in the Panama Canal and the impact it will have on the future of global trade.”

Seven months after the beginning of operations, the Expanded Canal has already transited more than 750 Neopanamax vessels – more than 50% of which were container ships. In addition, the Expanded Canal has accommodated liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, as well as bulk carriers, tankers and vehicle carriers.

In April 2017, the Expanded Canal will continue to impact world maritime trade with the passage of the first Neopanamax cruise vessel. Neopanamax passenger vessels are capable of transporting up to 4,000 passengers, nearly twice as much as the Panamax vessels able to transit the original locks.

Photo: A Maersk container ship passing through the Miraflores Locks on the canal.