Panama Canal tonnage flat in 3rd quarter
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Monday reported shorter transit times but minor decreases in net tonnage, total transits and booking slot utilization during the third quarter of its 2007 fiscal year.
From April through June tonnage of the international corridor dropped 0.3 percent to 75.6 million tons with total transits down by the same margin to 3,727. Transits of Panamax vessels, the largest vessel that can travel through the canal, decreased 3.2 percent to 1,494 transits from 1,544.
There was also a decrease in traffic of “supers,” vessels of 91 feet or more in beam, which were down 0.1 percent to 1,856.
Canal waters time (CWT), defined as the average time it takes a vessel to navigate the canal including waiting time for passage, decreased 37 percent in the quarter to 24.5 hours, from 38.9 hours in the same quarter last year.
The ACP’s booking system experienced a slight 0.5 percent decline in usage during the third quarter to 94.9 percent utilization.
“For the second consecutive quarter, we have seen a significant reduction in total canal transit time — a strong testament to the top-notch operations and dedication that the Panama Canal provides to its customers,” said Manuel Benitez, ACP’s maritime operations director. “As a key link in the global supply chain, the waterway has consistently maintained its reputation of safe, efficient and reliable service. And now, more than ever, our commitment to increase the value of the Canal remains our top priority.”