Panama, April 2, 2004.March 16, 2004 was a great day for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) as a significant new record was set: More than one million (1,005,551) Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons were transported through the Canal. This new record breaks the record mark set on July 3, 2003, figure which recorded 934,488 PC/UMS tons. The PC/UMS system, which is based on the Universal Measurement System, ITC/69, with additional variations established by the ACP, represents the total volume of a vessel in PC/UMS tons.

Contributing to the tonnage were Canal traffic of seven container vessels, 11 dry bulk carriers, four vehicle carriers and three cruise ships. Of the seven container vessels, five measured 900 feet in length. Of the cruise ships, one measured 900 feet in length and another measured 800 feet in length. In addition, total Canal revenue generated from tolls exceeded 3.5 million, 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 modernization program, rendering results of greater Canal efficiency and decreased Canal Waters Time (CWT), which ultimately lead to increased capacity. Projects within the program include: the widening of the Gaillard Cut, the acquisition of new locomotives, the rehabilitation of the locomotive tracks, the addition of new tugboats and the deepening of Gatun Lake.