Panama Canal in the Zone
The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), which represents a 9.5-percent increase from the previous year. This surpasses cargo 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 transit of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, containerships, chemical tankers, and vehicle carriers fueled the increase.
Containers continue to serve as the leading market segment for tonnage through the Canal, accounting for 159 million PC/UMS tons of total cargo, of which 112.6 million PC/UMS tons transited the expanded Canal. Tankers—which include LPG and LNG carriers—represent the following market segment with 130.3 million PC/UMS tons.
The next leading segments include bulk carriers (73.7 million PC/UMS tons) and vehicle carriers (49.5 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.
The main users during FY 2018 were the United States, China, Mexico, Chile and Japan. Nearly 63 percent of the total cargo transiting the Canal has its origin or destination in the United States.