Over the last fiscal year, the Panama Canal passed more than 400 million tons of cargo, a record for the inter-oceanic route, which was expanded in 2016 to triple its capacity, an official source said Tuesday.
The administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), Jorge Quijano, told AFP that from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, the route passed through the route of 403.8 million tons.
That figure hits the record set in 2015, when 340.7 million tons crossed the Canal, which is estimated to account for 5% of world maritime trade.
In addition, it represents an increase of 22% compared to the 330.4 million tons of the previous year.
“They are very good results for the first full year of the enlargement. They exceed what was projected,” said Quijano, who clarified that the data is preliminary.
In the last fiscal year, 13,548 vessels transited through the Canal, 3.3% more than in the previous year.
This is the first full fiscal year since the extension of the road on June 26, 2016.
The Panama Canal, whose main users are the United States and China, was extended so that ships of up to 14,000 containers cross its 80 kilometers.
The route mainly passes boats that go from China, Japan, and South Korea to the east coast of the United States or South America to Europe.
With the expansion, authorities expect to reach 600 million tons of traffic in a decade.
They also plan to progressively triple the $ 1 billion that the Canal annually hands over to the national treasury.
More than one million boats have passed through the Panama Canal since its inauguration in 1914.