The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons, boosted by LNG and LPG transit.
Panama Canal said in its statement the new figures represent a 9.5 percent rise from the previous year, surpassing projections of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2017.
The increase was driven by the transit of LPG and LNG carriers, containerships, chemical tankers and vehicle carriers.
During FY 2018, the Panama Canal increased the total available booking slots to eight per day for its Neopanamax Locks.
The 2018 Fiscal Year began on October 1, 2017, and ended on September 30, 2018.
The container segment remained the leader for tonnage through the Canal, accounting for 159 million PC/UMS tons of the total cargo. Tankers, which include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, were the second leading market segment with 130.3 million PC/UMS tons.
In terms of cargo tonnage, 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.