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Panama Canal: toll revenue 2014-2019

Almost 2.6 billion U.S. dollars was the toll revenue generated by the Panama Canal during the fiscal year 2019 (from October 2018 to September 2019), up from around 2.5 billion U.S. dollars reported a year earlier. Around 46.2 percent of that revenue was generated by tolls from container vessels. In the same fiscal year, more than 13.5 thousand cargo and passenger ships traveled through the Canal.

A bridge between two oceans

The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway of approximately 80 kilometers (around 50 miles) between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, located in the Isthmus of Panama. It is considered one of the most important primary chokepoints in the global maritime network along with the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca. After a failed attempt from the French government to start and complete its construction at the end of the nineteenth century, the United States took over the project and finished it in ten years. The Panama Canal started operations in 1914, and it was not until the end of 1999 that the government of Panama assumed full responsibility of the administration, operation and maintenance of the Canal. Since the control of the Canal was handed back to the Panamanian government, its revenue has experienced an upward trend peaking in 2019 at almost 3.4 billion U.S. dollars.

The expansion project

During the past few decades there has been a significant increase in international maritime trade. For instance, just since 1990, the volume of loaded freight being transported by ships and vessels has almost tripled. Due to this growing demand, the Panama Canal authority started the construction of a third set of locks, thus allowing larger ships to pass. The new set of locks was inaugurated in 2016, and since then the net tonnage has been steadily increasing peaking at almost 470 million PC/UMS tons in 2019.

Toll revenue generated by the Panama Canal from 2014 to 2019

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2014 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.
Figures prior to 2017 come from previous reporting.
The Panamanian balboa (PAB) is tied to the U.S. dollar (USD) at an exchange rate of 1:1.

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