The Panama Canal Sets Fiscal Year Records

Actual measurement of transits of cargo using Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) figures was 313 tons in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 versus 298 PC/UMS tons in FY 2006. This represented a 50% increase of 15 PC/UMS year over year. Total transits of the Canal grew 3.7% in FY 2007 to 14,721 compared to FY 2006’s 14,194.

Reflecting a shift by shippers to the use of container ships to move freight, the number of vessels 900 feet or longer grew by 11.4%, from 1,610 Canal transits in FY 2006 to this year’s 1,794. There was an increase in the number of ships using the Canal’s booking system, with fully half of all oceangoing ships using the waterway holding reservations.

Canal Water Time (CWT) dropped by 7.4% in FY 2007. CWT is the measurement of time, including waiting time, it takes a vessel to navigate the waterway. The time fell to 27.84 hours from 2006’s 30.05 hours. Official accidents declined to 0.68 per 1,000 ship transits in FY 2007 from FY 2006’s 0.70 per 1,000 transits.

“These metrics provide us with the means to consistently measure and analyze our performance and our business,” explains the Canal’s administrator/CEO, Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “They point to areas where we are succeeding and where we need improvement. This record-breaking year is a testament to our world-class workforce, top-notch service and industry-leading technology. Our employees are constantly pushing the envelope, trying to be innovative, striving to improve.”

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