Panama Canal reports vessel transits up 5.4%
The average time it takes ships to transit the Panama Canal, a factor called 'canal waters time,' decreased 4.8 percent in the canal's fiscal fourth quarter, to 25.5 hours from 26.8 hours in the fourth quarter of 2003, according to the Panama Canal Authority.
Transit time for booked vessels, those ships holding reservations, decreased 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter to 16.6 hours from 17.1 hours. Booked vessels account for 50 percent of all canal transits.
Vessel transits increased 5.4 percent to 3,159 from 2,996. Among those transits, there was a 10.2 percent boost in Panamax vessel traffic to 1,289 ships from 1,170.
In additional to increased transits, tonnage through the canal increased 9.7 percent to 63.8 million tons, from 58.2 million.
There were three official accidents reported in the fourth quarter this year, the same number as a year ago.
The canal's operational metrics were based on operations from July through September 2004, the four and final quarter of the authority's 2004 fiscal year.