New Panama Canal Tolls Approved

Included is a customer loyalty program for the container segment, a first for the Panama Canal Authority.

A new tolls structure has been approved for ships transiting the enlarged Panama Canal, with the Panama Canal Authority announcing them April 29. The new fees will take effect April 1, 2016, except for a new Intra Maritime Cluster Segment which took effect immediately. According to the authority, the approval followed more than a year of informal consultations with representatives from various industry segments, an open call for comments, and a public hearing to solicit industry feedback on the changes.

"After working in close cooperation with our partners in the maritime industry, I am pleased we will be able to provide a more bespoke pricing solution for our customers; one that recognizes their various needs and requests, while still appreciating the value and reliability provided by the route," said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano.

Dry bulkers' fees will be based on deadweight tonnage capacity and metric tons of cargo. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, will be based on cubic meters, and tankers will be measured and priced on Panama Canal Universal measurement system tons and metric tons of cargo. Container ships will continue to be measured and priced on TEUs and passenger vessels will continue to be based on berths or PC/UMS. The Intra Maritime Cluster segment includes local tourism vessels, marine bunkering, and container transshipment vessels that do not compete with international trade.

The authority also is implementing a customer loyalty program for the container segment for the first time. Frequent container customers will now receive premium prices, once a particular TEU volume is reached.

"The ACP deeply values the relationships we share with our customers," Quijano continued. "As we prepare for the completion of the Canal's Expansion Program, we look forward to continuing to provide the same superior reliability, service, and value to our customers, as well as now accommodate longer, wider ships and the new LNG segment."

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