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June 07, 2017

Panama Canal proposes to modify tolls, decrease container ships' rates

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) published a proposal for modifications to its current tolls structure.

From analysis of the feedback obtained from customers and industry representatives in Europe, Asia and North America, and the current utilization and productivity of the Neopanamax locks, it was deemed necessary to provide additional incentives to the container ship segment-the largest user of the Expanded Canal, to revise the tolls for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, and to reclassify container/breakbulk vessels.

"The proposed modifications safeguard the competitiveness of the waterway, the value of the route, and facilitates the Canal's goal of providing an efficient and reliable service to the global shipping community," said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano.

For the container ship segment, the proposal offers more attractive rates per loaded containers on the return voyage, applicable only to those Neopanamax vessels deployed on the Canal route in the head and back haul legs, and when: (1) the utilization rate of the northbound transit is higher or equal to 70 percent, and (2) the time lapse between the northbound and the southbound transit is not greater than 25 days. In order to promote the use of the services provided by the local transportation hub, any additional days that the vessel requires to perform port-related activities in the Panamanian terminals will not add to the 25 day period.

The proposal also modifies the tolls charged to LPG and LNG vessels, but keeps the units of measurement unchanged, as they have proven to be in accordance with industry standards. In addition, this tolls proposal reassigns the vessels classified by the ACP as "container/breakbulk" into the "general cargo segment." These vessels are currently part of the "others segment."

Source: Panama Canal Authority