The Panama Canal Authority
(ACP) released third quarter (Q3) operational metrics for fiscal year 2007. Canal Waters Time
(CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal including waiting time for passage, decreased. In Q3, there was also a minor decrease in net tonnage, total transits and booking slot utilization. These metrics are based on operations from April through June of 2007, the third quarter of the ACP's 2007 fiscal year, and compared to Q3 of fiscal year 2006.
Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tonnage decreased 0.3 percent - to 75.6m PC/UMS tons from 75.9 million PC/UMS tons. Total Canal transits also decreased 0.3 percent - to 3,727 transits from 3,737. Transit of full container vessels increased 10.7 percent, while Panamax transits, the widest vessels to cross the Canal, decreased 3.2 percent - to 1,494 transits from 1,544. Of these, the transit of Panamax vessels with an overall length greater than 900 feet increased 2.9 percent - to 427 transits from 415.
During Q3, there was also a decrease in traffic of supers (vessels 91 feet or more in beam). Transits of supers decreased a gradual 0.1 percent - to 1,856 transits from 1,858. Due to the size of the vessel, supers require more time and resources to transit the waterway.
CWT of all Canal transits decreased 37 percent during Q3 - to 24.50 hours from 38.90. CWT has declined in part due to the ongoing implementation of more efficient operational systems, investments and enhancements to the waterway. The official accidents rate per 1,000 transits remained stable at 0.535. An official accident is one in which a formal investigation is requested and conducted.
Utilization of the Canal's booking system experienced a 0.5 percent decrease during Q3 - to 94.9 percent utilization from 95.4 percent.