Panama Canal transits up 7% in April

The Central American waterway saw 1,016 vessels pass through its locks for the month, a year-over-year increase of 7 percent from April 2016, according to data from the Panama Canal Authority.

The Panama Canal in April 2017 saw vessel transits increase 7 percent to 1,016 ships compared with the same 2016 period, according to the latest monthly operations summary from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
The Central American waterway opened its expanded third lane in July 2016, allowing much larger vessels to pass through the important cargo gateway between Asia and the east coast of North and South America.
By comparison, a total of 949 oceangoing vessels transited the canal in April 2016, prior to its expansion. At that time, maximum vessel size in the canal was roughly 5,000 TEUs (107’ beam), compared with 14,000 TEUs today.
Last month, 162 of the 1,016 vessels transiting the canal were of the larger “neopanamax” size, but vessels of 5,000 TEUs and under still account for the majority of the Panama Canal transits.
The April totals were down slightly from the previous month, when 1,071 ships passed through the canal, but a lower percentage of the March calls were of the neopanamax variety at 159 transits.
The Panama Canal monthly operations summary also lists tentative maintenance outages. Three are scheduled during May and six during June with outage times ranging from four hours to 10 hours per day on the East Lane, West Lane and Center Wall.

Thomas H. Brymer II
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