The Panama Canal set a record fiscal year for 2021, and officials announced Thursday that ship volume is higher than ever, despite the crisis caused by disruptions in global ports.
According to the Panama Canal Commission, a total of 516 million tons of cargo crossed the canal between October 2020 and September 2021, mainly containers, grains, chemicals and liquefied natural gas.
This figure represents an increase of 8.7 percent in inventory compared to the previous fiscal year, a record despite the recession in the global economy and trade caused by the effects of COVID-19.
“The Panama Canal fiscal year is truly exceptional,” Richard Vasquez, chairman of the authority, told a video conference.
According to Vasquez, the new shipwrecks are due to the increase in the number of ships and the crossing of the ocean with more containers, Vasquez says.
The increase in demand for grain between China and the United States, along with an increase in the transport frequency of liquefied natural gas, led to an increase in shipping through the canal.
New records have emerged despite the global trade crisis caused by the disruption of supply chains and congestion at ports in the wake of epidemics that have led to shortages of goods in some markets.
However, according to Vasquez, this did not affect the channel.
Since the United States opened the canal in 1914, more than a million ships have crossed it.
It regained control of the Panama Canal in 1999 under the Panama Canal Agreement signed in 1977.
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