March 16 was a great day for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) as a new significant record was set. More than one million (1,005,551) Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons of cargo were transported through the Canal. This new record breaks
the recent July 3, 2003 figure of a recorded 934,488 PC/UMS tons of cargo.
Contributing to the tonnage were the Canal traffic of seven container vessels, 11 dry bulk carriers, four vehicle carriers and three cruise ships. Of the seven container vessels, five were 900 feet long. And, of the cruise ships, one ship was 900 feet long and another measured 800 feet. In addition, total Canal revenue, generated from tolls, exceeded three and one half million dollars - totaling $3,563,490.55.
"We are very pleased with the new record we have set," said ACP Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta. "This clearly proves the Panama Canal's reliability as the route of choice among shippers sending goods to market from Asia to the U.S. East Coast and vice-versa," Alemán added.
This new record is a testament to the Canal's successful permanent modernization program, rendering results of greater Canal efficiency and decreased Canal Waters Time (CWT), which ultimately leads to increased capacity. Such projects within the program include: the widening of the Gaillard Cut, the acquisition of new locomotives and the rehabilitation of the locomotive tracks, the addition of new tugboats
and the deepening of Gatun Lake.