Panama Canal recovers traffic

As of August 2017, 9,217 vessels crossed the Panama Canal, 6% more than last year, when traffic reached 8,693 vessels, according to the Statistics and Census Institute of the Comptroller’s Office.

The recent expansion of the third set of locks, inaugurated on June 26, 2016, impacted on this result.

The transit of ships through the Canal has increased.

The transit of ships through the Canal has increased.

So far this year, there has been an increase of 524 vessels that have crossed the Canal, that is, 6% higher, driven by the transit of deep-draft vessels. By the eighth month of the year, 8,051 deep draft vessels passed through the expanded Canal, while in the previous period, 7,638 ships were reported. This means that, in the eighth month of 2017, there was an increase of 413 ships or 5.4% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Regarding the transport of ships of smaller draft, although having a smaller number of transits than deep draft ships, there were also positive figures.

According to the INEC data, as of August 2017, some 1,166 smaller vessels crossed the expanded canal while, during the same period of 2016, 1,055 ships were counted. That is to say, there was an increase of 111 ships (10.5%).

Record tonnage

Up to August, 273,068 net tons were transported and in this year, 215,148, showing a positive variation of 57,920 net tons (26.9%).

The recovery of the transits goes hand in hand with the record tonnage at the end of fiscal year 2017 with 403.8 million tons CP/SUAB, which represents an increase of 22,2% compared to the previous year.

The main routes of the Panama Canal are: Asia and the east coast of the United States, the west coast of South America and the east coast of the US, the west coast of South America and Europe, the west coast of Central America and the east coast of the US and intercostal South America. A total of 68.3% of the cargo that transited the Canal originates or is destined for the United States. Meanwhile, the countries that most use this route are the United States, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico and Colombia.

Container ships, tankers, including liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas carriers and vehicle carriers are the most relevant segments, where almost 30% of total revenues enter from the new Canal locks.

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