The Panama Canal registered an increase in tonnage to 326.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) during fiscal year 2014 which concluded on September 30.
This figure represents a 2 percent increase compared to the 320.6 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2013, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
“The increase was primarily driven by the bulk carrier segment which registered an 18.2 percent increase totaling 85.9 million PC/UMS tons, compared to the 72.7 million PC/UMS tons registered the previous year.
The dynamic movement of bulk through the Panama Canal in the last year is attributed to the surge in grain cargo flows from the US Gulf to Asia,” ACP said.
Other top market segments during this fiscal year included car carriers with 45.8 million PC/UMS and gas carriers with 6.0 million PC /UMS tons, which increased 6.7 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively.
The Panama Canal’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.
The Canal is currently undergoing a USD 5.3 billion expansion project, which has achieved an overall progress of 78%.
The project is expected to be complete by December 2015, 16 months behind schedule due to work suspension triggered by cost overruns.
The Panama Canal Pilots raised their voice against not being involved in the consultation and development process of the expansion of the canal by the Panama Canal administration.
The Union said it was concerned about potential dangers behind the intended navigation proposals as they believe them to be unsafe.