27 October 2008 22:30 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Tanker traffic through the Panama Canal increased by almost 5% in the fiscal year ended on 30 September, but total traffic and tonnage fell slightly, the waterway authority said on Monday.
Tanker tonnage increased more than 8%, but total tonnage declined 1.1% - from 312.9m tonnes to 309.6m tonnes - with much of the drop attributed to less container traffic, the Panama Canal Authority said in a statement.
Tanker traffic, which accounted for 14% of the transits, increased mainly due to stronger crude shipments from the US Gulf coast to ?xml:namespace>
From October 2007 through September 2008, there were 19 fewer trips through the canal - 14,702 - compared with 14,721 during fiscal 2007, the authority said.
The canal authority said a slowing
The canal's $5.25bn (€4.20bn) expansion project is seen as a way to increase container traffic through the waterway by adding a third set of locks.
Begun in September 2007, the project to widen the canal would allow the waterway to handle post-Panamax-sized ships carrying up to 12,000 shipping containers at a time.
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