In February 2017, the Panama Canal set a new daily tonnage record of 1.18 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) after welcoming a total of 1,180 vessels through both the expanded and original locks, the Panama Canal Authority reported. The previous record was established the month prior in January 2017 when the canal recorded a daily tonnage average of 1.16 PC/UMS.
February is the third-consecutive record-breaking month for the Panama Canal. In December 2016 and January 2017, the waterway set monthly tonnage records after transiting 35.4 million PC/UMS and 36.1 million PC/UMS, respectfully.
“These records are evidence of the maritime industry’s growing adoption of the expanded canal,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “As the new lane continues to reshape global maritime trade and its true impact becomes more and more apparent, we will continue to offer new growth opportunities to our customers and cargo destinations around the world.”
Eight months since the inauguration, approximately 850 Neopanamax vessels have transited the new locks, and 53 percent of cargo transiting the waterway in container ships are using the expanded canal. In addition, 11 new liner services have been rerouted to take advantage of the economies of scale the canal offers. As the impact of the expansion becomes more evident, this number is expected to increase, Panama Canal Authority said.
Further, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, as well as bulk carriers, tankers and vehicle carriers have transited the expanded canal since it was operational in June 2016. And in April 2017, the first Neopanamax cruise ship, capable of carrying up to 4,000 passengers, will transit the new locks.