Total Canal transits decreased 2 percent during Q2 – from 4,053 to 3,971 transits. Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tonnage also dropped 2.6 percent – from 80.4 million PC/UMS tons to 78.4 million PC/UMS tons. Passenger transits increased 34.8 percent – from 92 to 124 transits – while dry bulk transits rose 6.7 percent, from 586 to 625 transits and dry bulk cargo tonnage increased 10.4 percent, from 12.3 to 13.5 million PC/UMS tons.
The number of containers, vehicle carriers, tankers and general cargo dropped when compared to figures for FY 2007. Refrigerated cargo transits slightly decreased, by 1.4 percent, but refrigerated cargo tonnage increased 1.1 percent – from 5.6 million PC/UMS tons to 5.7 million PC/UMS tons.
Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal (including waiting time for passage), rose in Q2. A surge in arrivals within the waterway’s peak season (February – May) coinciding with maintenance work at the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks caused a 32.8 percent increase in average CWT – from 27.40 hours to 36.39 hours. CWT for booked vessels (those ships holding reservations) increased 17.9 percent – from 16.67 hours to 19.66 hours.
The official accident rate increased slightly to 1.51 accidents per 1,000 transits during Q2. The accident rate during Q2 of FY 2007 was 1.23 accidents per 1,000 transits. An official accident is one in which a formal investigation is requested and conducted.
The use of the Canal’s modified booking system, which the ACP implemented February 1, remained relatively flat, decreasing from 96.26 percent to 94.23 percent.