In the News from Panama

Panama Canal Handles Record Volume

A record 469 million tons of cargo moved through the Panama Canal in the recently completed 2019 fiscal year, despite the sluggish global economy, the Panama Canal Authority announced this week.

The results represent a 6.2 percent from the previous year, suggesting that the Canal continues to play a key role in trade, even though the U.S. and China are involved in a tariff war. The total actually exceeded expectations, according to coverage in La Estrella.

The Canal is a key driver for Panama’s economy and the report provides strong evidence that Panama’s economic growth continues on a strong foundation. The revenue generated by the Canal helps pay for the infrastructure projects sweeping the country and ensures a steady revenue stream for decades, in addition to attracting multi-national companies to Panama City.

The main routes, in terms of tons, were between the east coast of the US and Asia; the east coast of the USA and west coast of South America, Europe and the west coast of South America, La Estrella reports. The volume of ships carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), grew 37.6 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, the paper reports.

The Canal Authority estimates more than 6 percent of world trade travels through the Canal. Not coincidentally, the expansion of the Canal was named one of the 50 most significant and influential projects of the last 50 years, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI).