Panama Canal Income Up 3.1%
Panama Canal October-to-February toll income rose 3.1 percent over the year-ago period to $247.8 million. Transits by ships built to the maximum dimensions of the Canal's 1,000-ft. (305-m) by 110-ft. (33.5-m) locks rose 5.7 percent to 1,915 during the five-month period, the Panama Canal Authority said.
Cargo tonnage through the 50-mile (80-km) trade route grew 3.6 percent to 81.8 million long tons during the period, driven by a 10.2 percent increase in containerized cargo to a record 14.2 million long tons.
Upgrade work to widen the canal's narrowest point, the Gaillard Cut, to enable 24-hour, two-way navigation has been 93 percent completed, and is on track to finish ahead of schedule in December 2001, the Authority said. Canal revenues rose 0.9 percent to $574.2 million during fiscal 2000. The waterway's financial year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. - (Reuters)