PANAMA CITY, Panama, August 17, 2010 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) released third quarter (Q3) operational metrics today for fiscal year 2010. In Q3, Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to transit the Canal (including waiting time for passage) for booked transits decreased. While total transits and net tonnage declined marginally, there was growth in some key segments. The metrics are based on operations from April through June 2010, the third quarter of the ACP’s 2010 fiscal year, and are compared with Q3 of fiscal year 2009.

Overall CWT increased 5.8 percent – to 21.12 hours from 19.96 hours. CWT for booked vessels, those ships holding reservations, experienced a decline in time – to 13.10 hours from 14.53 hours, or a 9.9 percent reduction.

Total Canal transits slightly declined 2.8 percent – to 3,476 transits from 3,576. Transits of supers, larger ships that require greater time and navigation skills to transit the Canal, decreased 3.1 percent – to 1,758 transits from 1,815.

With regard to key segments, general cargo and vehicle carrier transits increased, while transits of dry bulk, containers, refrigerated cargo (reefers), tankers and passenger vessels decreased.

“In Q3 of 2010, we saw minor fluctuations in overall transits and tonnage when compared to Q3 of 2009, an indicator that we are experiencing some signs of stability. We also saw growth in a few key segments, namely general cargo and vehicle carriers,” said ACP Executive Vice President of Operations Manuel Benítez. “We expect to see these same trends into the last quarter of this fiscal year and will continue to monitor global markets and their impact on the waterway. The ACP remains wholly committed to providing the most safe, reliable and efficient service for our customers.”

Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tonnage dropped 3.5 percent – to 71.08 million PC/UMS tons from 73.68 million PC/UMS tons.

The official accident rate increased to 2.59 accidents per 1,000 transits from 1.96. An official accident is one in which a formal investigation is requested and conducted.

Utilization of the booking system for the Canal decreased 18.8 percent – to 43.21 percent utilization from 53.19 percent.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: You can also follow us on Twitter: