The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) opened the 2008  fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) setting a monthly transit record in October for ships spanning 900 feet or more in length. A total of 164 ships of these dimensions transited the Canal last month, breaking the previous record of 159 ships, achieved in December 2006. Additionally, the daily average for registered ships 900 feet or more in length transiting the Canal in October was 5.29 per day, surpassing the previous record of 5.17 per day, reached in November 2006.

“These record-breaking transit numbers depict true commitment from the ACP’s employees, who work tirelessly to achieve the highest level of performance - day in, day out,” said ACP Executive Vice President of Operations Manuel Benitez. “Our employees have responded to the rise in demand with heightened efficiency and they inspire great confidence that the Canal will continue to offer unparalleled service to its customers well into the future.”

This record for transits 900 feet or greater is attributed to the growing use of container vessels by shippers to transport goods to market. Moreover, the Canal’s customer-focused business model has encouraged a strong surge in the Asia-U.S. East Coast trade route, which has also rapidly increased demand for the waterway’s services.