Auto shipping is recovering
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Authority has begun to see “signs of recovery” in shipping traffic, including from freighters transporting car...
PANAMA. The Panama Canal Authority has begun to see “signs of recovery” in shipping traffic, including from freighters transporting cars, said Alberto Aleman, the authority’s chief executive officer.
Aleman said he expects traffic in the fiscal year ending in September to total about 295 million tons, up from a previous range he had given of about 290 million to 295 million tons. Traffic in the 95-year-old canal totaled 310 million tons in 2008. Revenue this year will be “similar” to last year’s record $2 billion, Aleman said.
“Amid the crisis, amid the recession, this is good,” Aleman, who’s run the canal since 1996, said in a telephone interview from Panama City. Car shipments have “declined as was to be expected given the problems that we’ve seen in the automobile industry worldwide but we’ve seen signs of recovery in this segment.”
U.S. auto sales have run at an annual rate of fewer than 10 million vehicles for each month this year, after averaging 16.8 million from 2000 through 2007. Domestic sales through June slid 33 percent for Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Michigan.