Panama Canal Cuts Some Fees

In response to economic conditions, the Canal seeks to help its customers by instituting short-term cost reductions.

The reductions fall into two categories: a temporary redefinition of ballast for full containerships; and temporary modifications to the reservation system. These changes will take effect June 1 and remain in force until September 30.

By modifying the definition of ballast for full container vessels, a ship carrying 30% or less of its capacity will be charged at the reduced rate of $57.60 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). That rate is $14.40 less per TEU than the $72 rate charged laden (ships with cargo) ships.

The Canal will also reduce the base reservation price—depending on the size of a vessel—for those using its Reservation System. It provides this example: base price for a super vessel with a beam equal to or greater than 100 feet, and a length equal to or greater than 900 feet, will be reduced by $5,000 per transit.

Additional measures within the Reservation System come in reductions of late arrival fees and in providing more flexibility for making slot substitutions. At present, if vessels don’t arrive on schedule they lost their slot but do have the option to pay an additional fee to keep the reservation and transit for that same day. Temporary measures will reduce those charges. Canal customers will now have 30 days prior to transit to request slot substitutions without penalty. To now they had to give notice 60 days in advance.

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