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Tonnage, transit, waiting time increase through Panama Canal

Tonnage, transit, waiting time increase through Panama Canal

   The Panama Canal Authority Tuesday reported increases in net tonnage, total transits and transits of Panamax vessels during its second quarter.

   PCA also said canal waters time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the canal including waiting time for passage, increased in the quarter while booking slot utilization remained steady. Tonnage increased 5.7 percent to 75 million tons. Total canal transits increased 3.5 percent to 3,862 transits. Transits of Panamax vessels (100 feet or more in beam and the largest vessels that can pass through the canal) increased 7.5 percent to 1,501 transits.

   Overall CWT increased 15.8 percent to 30.08 hours.

   “The rise in CWT can be attributed to several factors,” said Jorge Quijano, PCA maritime operations director, in a statement. “Foremost, world trade is booming and demand for the canal’s services is increasing. Second, grain exports (through the Gulf ports to Asia) have increased significantly, especially since the infrastructure in the New Orleans area has shown firm signs of recovery from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Third, the additional surge in traffic occurred during the canal’s peak season, thus creating an unusually high backlog.”

   Utilization of the canal’s booking system increased 11.6 percent to 2,006 booked transits. As a consequence of this, the percentage of booked transits to oceangoing transits increased 9.6 percent to 59.9 percent this year from 54.7 percent last year.

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