The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) published a proposal for modifications to its current tolls structure, in order to continue providing a competitive service to its customers.
After meeting with the Canal customers and industry representatives from Europe, Asia and North America, the Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano and executives reached the conclusion that is necessary to provide additional incentives to the containership segment, the largest user of the Expanded Canal.
“These meetings with customers in Asia, Europe and North America have been extremely valuable in providing us with a deeper understanding of the industry today, the challenges faced by individual market segments, and the projected demand for the Neopanamax locks,” said Mr. Quijano.
The modifications were approved by the ACP’s Board of Directors on May 25, 2017 and are focused on the tolls for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, and to reclassify container/breakbulk vessels.
For the containership 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.”
In June 1 started the 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback. Once any pertinent changes are incorporated in the proposal, the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama will officially approve the modifications. The date for implementation of the modifications to the tolls structure is planned for October 1, 2017.
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