Panama Canal ended fiscal year 2019 with a record tonnage of 469 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), rising by more than 6% compared to 2018 level.
The result exceeded the projection of 450.7 million PC/UMS tons for this fiscal year, as well as the last record tonnage of 442 million PC/UMS tons 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 the growing demand and offer a reliable and safe service to customers," the statement from the waterway management said.
LNG, LPG transport recorded most gain
In the 2019 fiscal year, transits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) segments rose by 37.6% and 6.9% respectively, representing the largest gain across all segments.
Additional segments with significant transit increases included crude product tankers with a 5.6% rise, and vehicle carrier/RoRo with a recorded 5.5% increase, compared to the previous fiscal year.
In terms of tonnage, the container segment continued to dominate with 164.87 million PC/UMS tons in 2019. Panama Canal said 126.2 million PC/UMS tons of the said shipments were transited through the Neopanamax Locks.
Leading segments also include bulk carriers at 76.5 million PC/UMS tons, vehicle carrier Ro/Ro at 53.1 million PC/UMS tons, chemical tankers at 44.3 million PC/UMS tons, LNG vessels at 43 million PC/UMS tons, LPG vessels at 37.8 million PC/UMS tons, crude product tankers at 22.6 million PC/UMS tons and passenger vessels at 9.9 million PC/UMS tons.
US East Coast - Asia route was most used
The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in the fiscal year 2019 is between the US East Coast and Asia.
This was 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.
Panama Canal said the main users of the waterway were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.