The Panama Canal reported a surprising drop in container cargo transiting its Neopanamax locks during fiscal year 2022 (which runs from October to September), falling from 51.2 million to 50.2 million. By contrast, the amount of containerized cargo transported through the traditional locks increased from 10.0 million to 12.1 million tons, Alphaliner reported.
The number of transits is similar: the number of container ship trips registered in the “old” locks increased from 1,003 to 1,175 in the year 2022, which represents an increase of 17%. Transits also increase at the neo-Panamax locks, but by a much smaller percentage, from 1,599 to 1,647, or a 3% increase.
Overall, the Canal missed 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 decreased 8% year-on-year to 2,822 as many ships abandoned their regular sailing schedule for more lucrative operations on the trans-Pacific route.
Ballast traffic increased slightly on the Canal, especially northbound, but most of the year’s growth came from northbound cargo traffic, which was up 10% versus 5% southbound.