Panama City, June 5, 2018 – Yesterday, for the third time since the inauguration of the Expanded Canal, the Panama Canal set a new monthly tonnage record of 38.1 million tons (PC/UMS) after facilitating the transit of 1,231 vessels in May 2018.
The previous record was established in January 2017, when 1,260 vessels transited 36.1 million tons (PC/UMS) through the waterway, just a month after setting the record with 35.4 million tons (PC/UMS) transited by 1,166 vessels in December 2016.
The container ship segment contributed highest tonnage (36%), breaking its segment record with 13.8 million tons (PC/UMS) transited by 229 vessels.
“This new historical milestone reiterates the positive effect of the Expanded Canal and is further proof of the continued confidence of the maritime industry in the Panama Canal, and the impact it will have on the future of world maritime trade,” said the Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.
Thanks to the increased cargo capacity offered by the Neopanamax locks inaugurated almost two years ago, the Expanded Canal has received around 3,800 Neopanamax vessels, around 50 percent of which are containerships. The waterway has also welcomed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, as well as bulk carriers, tankers, cruisers and vehicle carriers.
Some of the recent milestones reached by the Expanded Canal have been:
• March 1 – MSC Caterina became the 3000th Neopanamax vessel to transit the Expanded Canal, reaffirming the interoceanic highway’s impact on world maritime trade.
• March 7 – The Panama Canal added an additional reservation slot for Neopanamax vessels, raising the total available from seven to eight per day.
• April 17 – The Panama Canal facilitated the historic transit of three LNG vessels, the Clean Ocean, Gaslog Gibraltar and Gaslog Hong Kong, in one day.
• May 14 – The Panama Canal facilitated the transit of its largest cruise ship to date, the Norwegian Bliss operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines, weighing more than 168,000 gross tons and carrying the capacity for almost 5,000 passengers.
About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.
About the Panama Canal Expansion
The Panama Canal Expansion is the largest enhancement project since the Canal’s opening in 1914. Considered and analyzed for a decade with more than 100 studies, the Expanded Canal provides the world’s shippers, retailers, manufacturers and consumers with greater shipping options, better maritime service, enhanced logistics and supply-chain reliability. The Expansion included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the waterway, creating a third lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway. While the expanded locks are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit. In line with its commitment to customer service, the Panama Canal will continue to provide the world with value for another century and beyond.