The Panama Canal reported that toll revenues and total ship transits rose in the period from October through January, the first four months
of the fiscal year 2001. In a news release, the canal administration reported $202.4 million in tolls during the four-month period, which came in $2 million higher than expectations. The revenues during the period were $9 million higher than during the same period a year ago, when revenues were $193.4 million. Vessel transits through the 50-mile (80-km) waterway increased by 3.2 percent, compared with the year-ago period, to 4,160 transits, for an average of 33.8 per day.
Transits by ships built to the maximum dimensions of the waterway's 1,000-foot (305-meter) by 110-foot (33.5-meter) locks grew 7.5 percent to 1,569 from 1,459 in the year-ago period. Net cargo tonnage through the canal reached 66.4 million long tons in the October-January period, for a 3.6 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The canal passed from U.S. hands to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999, but the administration continues to use the U.S. fiscal year. - (Reuters)