|World Ship Traffic|
|Ship traffic using the Panama Canal is quite an important statistic for PIPSA’s business. The high volume of ships using the canal to transit from either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans was a key factor in locating PIPSA’s business in Panama. As far as Container Ship traffic the Panama Canal is once again the preferred route for the world’s major container ship owners when they need to transport cargo between the Far East and the US East Coast.
Numerous major liner carriers are currently racing to be in the best possible position for the new and expanded Panama Canal.
The most highly traveled origination and destination routes using the Panama Canal where; Asia-US East Coast, East Coast US -Asia, East Coast US-West Coast South America, Europe-West Coast South America, South America Intercostal, Europe-West Coast US/ Canada.
The most numerous vessels that transited the canal by vessel type were;
1) Container Vessels
2) Dry Bulk Vessels
4) Vehicle Carriers
5) Refrigerated Cargo Vessels
6) General Cargo Vessels
7) Passenger Cruise Liners
The highest ranking four individual countries where cargo originated from or had cargo delivered as the final destination that use the Panama Canal were; the United States, China, Chile, and Japan respectively.
The Panama Canal has re-claimed the majority of traffic from the Far East and the US East Coast (USEC) all-water route that it previously lost to the Suez Canal in late 2014, the Journal of Commerce reported Alphaliner as saying.
This news comes after the recent announcement that the USEC could steal as much as 10% of the Panama Canal’s traffic.
Panama’s waterway currently accounts for 51% of the total capacity on the all-water trade route, up from 44% in February, 2015.
Andy Lane of CTI Consultancy said: “The two canals (Panama and Suez) do not really compete directly for the same liner service – the choice is always based on minimising the total voyage distance. The scale of canals also does not drive cargo flows or deployment, when the difference is maybe 12,000 TEU versus 14,000 TEU where the slot cost synergies are minimal.
“It is however fair to say that massive variations in scale do make a difference – a 4,500 TEU service through the present Panama is far less efficient than a 10,000 TEU service through Suez (typical Asia-USEC) even if the overall distance is a little longer.”
A 20% year-on-year increase has been recorded for weekly capacity along the route to a record high of 143,000 TEU in June, 2015.
The Panama Canal now accounts for 34% of total trans-Pacific capacity from the Far East compared to 12 months ago when capacity was recorded at 30%.
The Panama Canal is costing around US$5 billion to complete and will be operational by early 2016.