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Panama Believes that the Canal Expansion has Exceeded Expectations


AFP | 22 Jun 2017 12.42pm

A year after the inauguration of the expansion of the Panama Canal, the authority in charge of the passage considered this Thursday that the work has exceeded expectations that led to its construction.

"In its first year of operations, the Panama Canal expanded has marked records and consistently outperformed expectations," said the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a statement.

The ACP explained that in the last 12 months "global trade routes have been redesigned and its positive impact has been felt all over the world."

The Panama Canal, through which passes 5% of world maritime trade, was extended to ships of up to 14,000 containers, triple their former capacity, through its 80 kilometers.

More than 1,500 neopanamax vessels, 366 meters long and 49 wide, have traveled the new locks, according to the ACP.

Of these ships, with the extension of more than three football fields, the container ships represent about 46.8%, followed by the carriers of liquefied petroleum gas with 34.2% and liquefied natural gas with 9.4%.

The administrator of the ACP, Jorge Quijano, said last week that in 2025 a new expansion could be launched as a function of the demand that the route has had.

With enlargement, the Panama Canal tonnage has increased 22.2% when comparing the fiscal year 2017 to 2016. It is expected that in a decade to double the 600 million tonnes of goods that pass a year by the track.

On average, 5.9 ships transiting the Canal extended by day, "overcoming the original forecast of two to three transits per day for the first year of operation," says the note.

The extension consisted in the construction of two new complexes of locks in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, creating a third lane of traffic along the route.

By the Canal boats have mainly passed from China, Japan, and South Korea to the east coast of the United States or from South America to Europe.

With the expansion the authorities expect to be progressively tripled in 10 years the Billion dollars that the Canal awards annually to the National Treasury.


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Expanded Panama Canal usage creates new records


THE NUMBER of ships using the expanded Panama Canal locks daily  during the first year of operation was more than double forecasts and the canal  set new records.

Over the year, 1,535 neopanamax ships used the new locks.

About half the vessels were container ships, followed by liquefied petroleum gas tankers (LPG’s), which accounted for 31.5 percent of the transits.

The expanded Canal set records and exceeded expectations, redefining global trade routes with a positive impact on the

maritime industry, according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The entry into operation of the new locks brought changes in the operations of the Canal. Only tugboats are used to position the vessels in the chambers, instead of the locomotives used in the original locks.

In the  first  expansion year, an average of 5.9 neopanamax ships transited each day, surpassing

the original forecasts of two or three daily transits With the expansion, more than 90 percent of the world’s  Liquified Natural Gas (LNG} fleet can now traverse the Canal for the first time in history, opening a new market and allowing gas producers in the United States to ship the product to Asia at competitive prices.

Since its inauguration, 15 neopanamax line services have been redirected to the Panama Canal to

take advantage of the advantages offered by the expansion.



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Panama Canal wins back traffic lost to Suez Canal

The Panama Canal’s enlargement has enabled it to win back most of the all-water traffic between Asia and the US East Coast that it had lost to the rival Suez Canal route.

The Central American waterway’s share of the total headhaul capacity on the route has risen to 74 percent, the level it had in 2010, after slumping to 48 percent at the beginning of 2016, according to Alphaliner.

The opening of the new locks in June 2016 shifted the advantage back to the Panama Canal as the larger neo-Panamax and sub neo-Panamax ships, now able to transit, helped lift average vessel size to the same as on the Suez route, the industry analyst says.

The Egyptian waterway has, however, retained the headhaul and backhaul legs of five all-water services, while five services that use the Panama Canal on the headhaul direction, return to Asia via the Suez Canal.

The battle between the two waterways is continuing, with the Panama Canal Authority planning to cut tariffs for neo-Panamax vessels from October 1.

“These will however only apply to backhaul voyages to Asia – a move clearly aimed to drawing back the Suez Canal services,” Alphaliner notes.

However, the reductions are relatively modest, at only 6 to 12 percent, and may not be sufficient to entice carriers to reroute their backhaul services via the Panama Canal.

The Suez Canal Authority has also extended its 45 to 65 percent rebates on toll tariffs for a further six months to the end of the year, which should ensure it retains some of the traffic for the time being.

The Panama Canal tariff reductions will benefit the nine existing services transiting the waterway on both legs with weekly savings of up $400,000 for the carriers, based on estimated weekly discounts of $40,000 to $50,000 for each service.

Neo-Panamax ships, with 19 rows of containers, and sub neo-Panamax vessels, 16 to 18 rows, made 795 voyages, or 50.5 percent of all transits, through the expanded Panama Canal during its first year of operations.

The number of 16- to 19-row container ships sailing through the canal is likely to almost double in the coming year, with around 1,400 transits, Alphaliner said.

Fifteen weekly services currently transit the Panama Canal of which nine make a return voyage, for a total of 24 passages.

At least two carriers are planning to launch new Asia-US East Coast services next year, which could significantly increase transits through the waterway, while five current trans-Panama services deploying classic 13-row vessels of 4,000-5,100 TEU capacity could be up-sized in the coming year, further boosting traffic of larger vessels.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.



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Panama Canal container transit record

The Theodore Roosevelt

OVER 100  years after the oopening ofthe Panama Canal a ship bearing the name of the driving force behind  what was seen as one of the seven wonders of the world, created a new record for the waterway.


View from the Visitor deck window at the Miralores lock

The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, traveling between Asia and the east coast of the United States, on  Tuesday, August 22, became  the largest vessel to transit the new locks.

“Today’s traffic not only highlights the growing success and acceptance of the expanded channel by the  Maritime industry but also its impact in redesigning world trade, “said the Canal administrator  Jorge Luis Quijano.

The vessel set a new record for total TEUs (equivalent to a container 20 feet long), with a mark of 14,886.

The  Theodore Roosevelt measures 365.96 meters long and 48.252 meters wide.

To get an idea of its dimensions, its size is similar to two pyramids of Giza, four Big Bens  or  Eight Statues of Liberty, said the Canal Authority.



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Panama: Port Movement Up 10%

In the first seven months of this year 2.4 million containers have moved through panamanian ports, 10% more than in the same period in 2016.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Preliminary figures from the Panama Maritime Authority show that between January and July of this year, 2,357,588 containers passed through Panamanian ports, equivalent to 3.9 million TEUs. 

The movement of vehicles in the ports grew by 21%, growing from 69,266 units in the first seven months of 2016, to 83,510 units in the same period of 2017.

Movement of cargo, measured in metric tons, increased by 15%, going from 43 million between January and July of last year, to 49 million in the same period this year.

See statistics published by the AMP.



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Container movement up 12% in 8 months


THE MOVEMENT  of TEU containers (20 feet)  in Panama’s National Port System  in the first eight months of the year increased 12.2%, compared to the same period last year, when there was a decrease of 13.0%, according to a report by the Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) ).

According to preliminary figures from the Comptroller General, up to August 2017, 4,573,683 TEU containers were mobilized, while in the same period of 2016, only 4,076,047.

Up to August the National Port System received 497,636 (12.2%) TEU containers more than last year. However, the figure reached this year is still lower than in 2015, before the expansion of the inter-oceanic route, when 4,687,376 TEU containers were mobilized in the main ports of the country.



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First neopanamax cruise ship enters canal


WITH OVER 3,000 passengers aboard on Thursday, Oct 26, The “Caribbean Princess” became first neopanamax cruise ship to pass through the expanded locks of the Panama Canal during the 2017- 2018.season

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), reported that the vessel was carrying 3,086 passengers, but has a capacity for 3,600.


The Caribbean Princess in Agua Clara

The  Princess Cruise Line ship entered the Canal through the Agua Clara locks, in the Atlantic sector. It began its tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will also end its journey.

According to the ACP, it plans to dock in the ports of The Bahamas, Cartagena (Colombia) Cristóbal (Panama), Limón (Costa Rica) and the Cayman Islands.

Passengers landing at Cristóbal are scheduled to travel “to various tourist sites in the cities of Panama and Colon,” said the ACP.



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Roll On- Roll Off Port Plan Revived

The Ro-Ro terminal the Panama Canal Authority is considering to build on the west side would require a $200 million investment.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The purpose of a specialized rolling cargo terminal is to turn the area where it will be built into a center for redistribution for vehicles, machinery and heavy equipment to serve the local market and other Latin American countries.

Back in 2015 the Canal Authority put forward the proposal, arguing then that the objective was "to promote the development of this type of cargo in Panama and lay the foundations for the development of other lines of business that generate added value and chains. One of the activities that could be developed is that which is dedicated to adding value to vehicles, called 'accessorising'."

Elcapitalfinanciero.com reports that "...The project consists of the construction of a simple dock for carrier vessels, where a maximum of 6,000 cars can be unloaded for distribution to the international market."  

Oscar Bazán, executive vice-president of Planning and Commercial Development of the ACP, explained : "... "We are conducting market research to find about the reality of the terrain and the feasibility of having firm proponents so that when the publication comes out we have favorable acceptance."



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Panama Canal Increases Daily Neopanamax Vessel Reservations


cma cgm theodore roosevelt panama 16x9.jpg

CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt

By MarEx 2017-12-01 20:15:35

The Panama Canal has increased the number of daily booking slots available for Neopanamax vessels from six to seven effective from December 1, 2017.

With this measure, the Panama Canal says it is embracing the additional capacity allowed for by the new, larger locks. The seven daily booking slots for Neopanamax vessels are offered in addition to the 23 slots available each day for transit through the Panamax locks.

The additional slot is now available for ships transiting northbound (from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean), and was first offered beginning September 26 through a special competition in the first booking period in adherence to Panama Canal regulations.  

Container vessels will have preference over other vessel types when allocating these additional slots. If no container vessels are interested, the slot will be awarded to any vessel that participated in the special competition, based on the Panama Canal Customer Ranking. After the special competition, the slots will be available to all vessels on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Neopanamax Locks can transit additional ships beyond the number of daily slots allotted. For example, the Expanded Canal transited a record 10 Neopanamax ships on November 17, more than three to four daily transits originally expected.

The Panama Canal aims to offer eight Neopanamax reservation slots by the end of the first quarter of 2018 and to gradually implementing additional measures to increase capacity through 2019. 

The Neopanamax container ship CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt became the largest ship to transit the Canal to date in August 2017, measuring 365.96 meters in length and 48.252 meters in beam with a Total TEU Allowance (TTA) of 14,863.

The waterway welcomed a record 403.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) of cargo in FY17, the largest annual tonnage ever transited in its 103-year history and a 22.2 percent increase from the previous year. According to figures, the Panama Canal transited a total of 13,548 vessels during its FY17, representing a 3.3 percent increase compared to totals the year before. The growth in traffic translated into a 22.2 percent increase in total annual tonnage from FY16 and helped the Panama Canal surpass its cargo projection of reaching 399 million PC/UMS.



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Ship #3000, uses expanded canal locks

MSC Caterina
Post Views: 124
THE “MSC Caterina”,  sailing under the  Panamanian flag became the 3000th neopanamax vessel to pass through the third set of locks since their inauguration, on June 26, 2016. It was one of nine neopanamax ships that used the expanded way on Friday, March 1.

The record achievement after 20 months, reaffirms the Panama Canal Authority’s forecast of the impact that the interoceanic highway would have on world maritime trade.

Since they began to operate, the new locks have affected in economies of global scales by providing the shipping industry with greater capacity for freight transport between the production and consumption centers.

Some 53% of the Neopanamax vessels that have transited the expanded Canal, are container ships; 28%, liquefied petroleum gas and 10% methane tankers(LNG)  that transport liquefied natural gas. Other vessels that use the new locks are dry and liquid bulk carriers, vehicle carriers and passengers.

The mark of one thousand transits was reached on March 19, 2017, by the MSC Anzu, while the number 2000 was registered on September 26by  Cosco Yantian



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Panama Canal traffic upswing continues

MORE neopanamax ships
Post Views: 118
PANAMA CANAL income is forecast to show continued growth in the current fiscal year which ends in September with a projected growth of 27 million tons of cargo transiting the waterway.

The growth is fueled by the neopanamax vessels which have the capacity to transport more merchandise, and more ships carrying grain.

In mid-March, the Canal administration signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Producers of Soy and Maize in Brazil to promote the use of the interoceanic path to carry grains to markets in Asia.

The total income, according to the budget projections for this term, amounts to $3.37  billion an increase of $151 million compared to audited revenues for the 2017 fiscal year ($2. 886 million).

2017 was the first full year with the expanded Canal in operation. In 2015, the Canal handled 340.8 million tons a year later, the figure dropped to 330 million and rose in 2017 to 403.8 million and a projection of 431 million at the close of the fiscal year 2018.



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More Traffic Projected in Panama Canal

For the fiscal year ending September 2018, the authorities foresee that the cargo that will transit through the Canal will reach 431 million tons, 7% more than in the previous period.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

According to the Panama Canal Authority, the main reasons for the predicted growth in cargo passing through its facilities are the improvement registered in international prices of raw materials and the increase in demand from emerging economies.

Regarding the actions carried out by the Canal to reach the projected number, an article by Prensa.com explains that " ...The Canal is currently focused on promoting transport of grains in Panamax vessels originating from Brazil and destinations in Asia, as it is expected that the production of soybeans and corn in the Mato Grosso region will continue to grow."

The article adds that "... Currently, there are infrastructure projects under construction to increase loading capacity in the ports in the north and northeast of Brazil so that they can handle up to 83 million tons. This is a considerable growth taking into account that the current capacity in this region is 35.5 million tons."



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Panama: Dip in Maritime Traffic Affecting Business

Panama Ports Company has stated that due to the unfavorable trend registered by the national maritime industry, the company is carrying out organizational changes in order to continue operating.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From a statement issued by Panama Ports Company:

It is difficult for us to send this communication, faced with such a painful decision, against our will.

As is known to many of you, the national maritime industry has seen an unfavorable trend at Panamanian ports. Some of the volume handled in the country has been reoriented to other ports in the region, regardless of our vast capacity to serve it, or is directly traveling to its final destination, via the Panama Canal, after its expansion, without having to be transfered in Panama. Without a doubt this situation has impacted our organization.

It is vital that we adjust to this new reality of the business. For this reason, with much regret we find ourselves working on an organizational scheme where difficult changes are being implemented, but which are necessary for the continuity of our operation.

If you have any immediate concerns, do not hesitate to approach the leader of your area, who will know how to channel your inquiries.


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Panama Canal tolls revenues rise by 7.6% in first quarter 2018

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:14

Diseño sin título (66).jpg

Toll revenues from the Panama Canal rose by 7.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period of 2017, and totaled 608.7 million dollars, according to preliminary figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) released today.

In the first quarter of this 2018, a total of 3,687 transits of ships were recorded through the interoceanic route, which represented a fall of 1.3 percent compared to the 3,736 for the same period of 2017.

But toll revenues reached 608.72 million dollars in the period under study, 7.6 percent more than the 565.49 million dollars in the first quarter of 2017.

According to the preliminary figures of the INEC, 3,079 transits corresponded to vessels of great draft, with a fall of 2.7 percent, while 608 were shallow-draught boats, with increase of 6.5 percent.

The Panama Canal registered a total of 2,238 million dollars in toll revenues in fiscal year 2017, 15.8 percent more than the previous year, according to its figures.

Fifty-four percent of the ships that transited the canal during fiscal year 2017 were container ships, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (29 percent) and liquefied natural gas (9 percent) ships.

The Panamanian interoceanic highway, which passes close to 6% of world trade, links more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries.

Since June 2016, it has maintained its first expansion, a project whose cost has already risen to 5,600 million dollars and consists of a new lane to make way for the Neopanamax, ships with a capacity to transport some 14,000 containers, three times the load that it passes in the centenary way.



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Toll revenues in the Panama Canal rise 9.5% between January and July

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:01


The Panama Canal accumulated 1,443.3 million dollars in toll revenues between last January and July, 9.5 percent more than the 1,317.8 million dollars of the same period of 2017, according to official statistics released.

Preliminary figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec) indicate that last July the interoceanic highway registered revenues of 211.1 million dollars for toll revenues, 6.5 percent more than the 198.2 million dollars of the same month in 2017.

In the first seven months of this year there were a total of 8,247 ship transits through the Canal, 1 percent more than the 8,163 in the same period of 2017.

Transits last July totaled 1,072, with a fall of 2.1 percent compared to 1,095 in the same month of 2017, according to the Inec figures.

The statistical entity specified that between January and July, 6,793 Neopanamax vessels transited, 3.2 percent less than in the same period of 2017, while in July they were 833, 10.4 percent less than in the same month last year.

The Panama Canal opened its first expansion in June 2016, a work of at least 5,600 million dollars, to make way for the Neopanamax ships, which have three times the capacity of those who cross the operational locks since 1914.

The administration of the route reported on July 30 that about 52 percent of the Neopanamax ships that have crossed the expansion are container ships, followed by the liquefied petroleum gas ships with 27 percent.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships, a new segment that opened at the beginning of operation of the expansion, accounted for 10 percent.

"Other vessels that have used the new locks are those of dry and liquid bulk, carriers and passengers," added the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in a public statement, stressing that on July 29 its 4000th Neopanamax vessel transited the expanded canal.

The Panamanian interoceanic highway, where about 6 percent of world trade passes, joins more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries.



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Canal tonnage up 9.5% over previous year

Post Views: 56
The Panama Canal closed the fiscal year 2018  (Oct. 1, 2017 – Sep. 30, 2018) with a record of 442.1 million ton transited, an increase of 9.5% compared to the previous year, reports the Canal Authority (ACP).

The increase was driven, in particular, by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural liquefied gas (LNG), container ships, chemical tankers, and vehicle carriers.

The 429.4 million CP / SUAB tonnes projected for 2018 were exceeded, as was 2017 tonnage that ended with 403.8 million CP / SUAB tons.

“The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing more and more the

importance of the expansion of the interoceanic highway and its impact on global maritime trade, due to the efforts of all our collaborators that have made this an extraordinary year” said ACP administrator Jorge Luis Quijano.



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Panama Canal reaches new milestone and 5,000 neopanamax transits

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 00:11


The Panama Canal reached a new milestone today after container ship COSCO Faith made the 5,000th transit through the expanded locks, inaugurated two and a half years ago.

The ship, which usually serves the route between Asia and the East Coast of the United States and has capacity for 13,408 containers, crossed the waterway on Monday in a southerly direction, that is, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

"We continue to overcome challenges with the support of the collaborators of the Panama Canal, who are committed to improving the service every day in order to generate greater benefits for our country," the canal administrator, Jorge Luis Quijano, said in a statement.

Through the canal, built by the United States at the beginning of the last century and transferred to Panama on December 31, 1999, close to 6 percent of world trade passes and more than 140 sea routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries are connected.

June marked the second year since the Canal expansion was inaugurated, which was built to help the so-called Neopanamax ships cross, with capacity to carry up to 14,000 containers.

Container transport continues to be the main business of the water route, but the new locks have allowed the canal to open to other products, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or large cruise ships, which did not fit into the old complex.

To date, 51 percent of the Neopanamax vessels that have traveled through the Canal correspond to the segment of container ships, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with 26 percent and LNG with 10 percent, according to official data .



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Neopanamax containers principle canal users

IN the first quarter of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) fiscal year 2019  718 neopanamax transits, 47% were container ships. The neopanamax container ships remain the segment of the industry that most transits through the third set of locks, according to preliminary statistics published by the ACP


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Cargo Movement Keeps Rising

After in 2018, the cargo movement in Panama increased 2% over 2017, in the first five months of 2019 the volume transported totaled 35.4 million metric tons, 3% more than in the same period last year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The latest report of the General Comptroller of the Republic details that only last May reported a 12% year-on-year increase in cargo movement, rising from 7 million metric tons in the fifth month of 2018 to 7.9 million metric tons in the same period of 2019.

You may be interested in "Port Cranes: Imports up to June 2018

With respect to cumulative cargo movement, between January and May 2018 and the same period in 2019 it increased from 34.3 million to 35.4 million, equivalent to a 3.2% increase.

For the periods concerned the movement of containers also registered a slight increase, in this case was 1%, going from 2.74 million TEUs to 2.78 million TEUs.

See full statistics.



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Neopananamax vessel #8000  crosses canal


Posted 15/12/2019

The APL Barcelona transited the Panama Canal on Saturday, December 14  and brought to 8000 the number of Neopanamax vessels that have made the crossing since the widened route was inaugurated in June 2016.

The  container ship which crossed from the Pacific to the Atlantic is 347.38m long  and 45.27m  wide with  a capacity of 11,000 TEUS (units equivalent to 20 ft)



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China bound ship  #10,000 through  expanded locks


Posted 10/08/2020

The "SK Resolute" , carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China brought the total transits of vessels through the expanded locks of the Panama Canal to 10,000 on Monday, August 10.

The passage was achieved in the week that the waterway celebrates 106 years of operations.

The  Canal Authority (ACP) reported that the ship began its transit at the Agua Clara locks, in the province of Colón, and continued south towards the Cocolí locks, in the Pacific.

The "SK Resolute" began its journey in the Gulf of Mexico, on the east coast of the United States.

The vessel now has 13 transits through the expanded interoceanic route since it began using it in 2018, including 7 crossings this year.

Its main routes are between the east coast of the United States towards South Korea and Japan and Chile

"Reaching this mark just over four years after the opening of the expanded Canal, reaffirms the competitiveness of the interoceanic highway, backed by the continuous, safe and reliable service that we have maintained in the midst of the current world situation", said the  Canal administrator, Ricaurte Vásquez.

"Ships that transport liquefied natural gas represents the third type of vessel that uses the expanded Canal, with around 12% of transits, surpassed only by container ships with 46% and those of liquefied petroleum gas with 25%," said an ACP release.



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