Panama Canal Proposes Tolls Hikes, Creates New Market Segments

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors approved a proposal to modify the Panama Canal pricing structure to align Canal toll charges with the value the ACP says the route provides.

The proposal increases the number of segments from eight to eleven by Panama Canal vessel type. It also breaks down the tanker segment into three distinct segments, establishes a new segment for container/breakbulk, and incorporates the roll-on/roll-off vessels into the vehicle carrier segment. Once approved, the Panama Canal market segmentation scheme will include the following segments: full container, reefer, dry bulk, passenger, vehicle carrier and ro-ro, tanker, chemical tanker, LPG, general cargo and others.

Price Proposal

Effective July 1, 2012, the ACP proposes to increase the tolls for the following segments: general cargo, container/break bulk (new segment), dry bulk, tanker (redefined segment), chemical tanker (new segment), LPG (new segment), vehicle carrier and ro-ro (merged segment), and the segment known as “others.” The remaining segments will not be adjusted at this time.

Additionally, there will be changes to tolls applicable to small vessels based on vessel length, to incorporate adjustments not previously considered.

“This proposal continues to align the Panama Canal tolls to the value, benefit and quality the route provides, and maintains the competitiveness of the Panama Canal,” stated Alberto Alemán Zubieta, ACP Administrator/CEO.

Consultation period and public hearing

As part of the tolls adjustment process, the ACP has established a consultation period until May 21, 2012, during which the ACP will receive formal written comments, opinions and written requests from interested parties to participate in the public hearing. The public hearing will be held in Panama City, Panama, in the ACP’s “Ascanio Arosemena” auditorium on May 23, 2012.

“The ACP will continue its dialogue with the industry to develop a pricing structure that meets the needs of our customers – one that benefits them and Panama,” added Alemán Zubieta.”

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