The Panama Canal reported a surprise drop in container cargo transiting its neopanamax locks during fiscal year 2022, reports Alphaliner.
The amount of container cargo moving through the new locks fell from 51.2 million to 50.2 million tons during the Canal’s last fiscal year, which runs from October to September.
In contrast, the amount of container cargo that was cleared using the traditional locks increased from 10.0 million to 12.1 million tons.
A similar trend was evident in the number of transits, with the count of registered container ship voyages at the “old” locks rising from 1,003 to 1,175 in FY2022, an increase of 17%.
Transits also increased at the Neopanamax locks but by a much smaller percentage, from 1,599 to 1,647, or a 3% increase.
Overall, the Canal reported a modest increase in the number of container ships using the waterway (both locks) during the year despite the frenetic nature of the pandemic trade. Total transits were up 8% year-on-year to 2,822, with many ships moving away from their normal sailing itineraries towards more lucrative transpacific services.
Ballast traffic increased slightly on the Canal, particularly to the north, but most of the year’s growth came from northbound cargo traffic, which was up 10% versus a 5% increase to the south.