The Panama Canal Raises Marine Service Fees

In explaining the climb, the Canal Authority notes that over the past eight years it has spent $1.329 million in upgrades of its fleet of tugboats, locomotives and other elements of infrastructure. Now almost half of all transits of the waterway are by Panamax vessels that are 106-feet wide. Since locks are just 110-feet wide, state-of-the-art equipment and personnel are needed to ease these ships along the way.

Rates for tug services will grow 8%. Line handling services will be boosted by 7%. “Additionally, a $300-per-wire fee will be charges for ancillary locomotive services,” explains the Authority, “up from a $200-per-wire fee (wires are attached to the locomotives to ensure that the vessels stay centered as they transit through the locks).”

For visibility requirements, if a vessel notifies the Canal less than 48 hours prior to its arrival that its load exceeds Canal standards, there will be additional costs. Those vessels that notify the Canal at least 48 hours in advance of arrival will be charged $4,000. If the data is submitted in less than 48 hours, that fee will be $8.000.

For complete details on these increases, visit the Canal’s web site at and go to Marine Notice to Shipping N-1-2008, page 18.

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