A proposal to modify the Canal tolls structure has been officially approved by the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama. The decision for new canal tolls has been taken after a recommendation of the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).
The new canal tolls modify the pricing structure for most segments in the Panama Canal in a better way of providing excellent service and reliability to the global marine industry and in the same time allowing the ACP to secure the competitiveness of the waterway.
It took more than a year of debates for the accepted proposal from today. The final decision was taken after informal consultations with representatives from different segments in the marine industry. The open call for comments and the public hearing were necessary to solicit the industry response on the decision for a change in the Canal price modification.
Jorge L. Quijano, the Panama Canal Administrator and CEO said:
“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.”
According to the new pricing toll system, most segments in the Canal from now on will be priced in reference with the different units of measurement, which meet and align with the traffic of various type of vessels passing through the locks.
For example: Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vessels will be based on cubic meters; Dry bulkers on dead-weight tonnage capacity and metric tons of cargo; The transiting tankers will be measured and priced on the Universal measurement system of the Panama Canal (PC/UMS), which is the measurement of tons and metric tons of cargo. Container and passenger ships will continue to be measured and priced in the same way, on TEUs and on berths or PC/UMS respectively.
Local tourist vessels, container transshipment and marine bunkering vessels, which are not included in the international trade, will be priced in a new Intra Maritime Cluster segment, created additionally for that purpose.
A customer-loyalty program and tolls restructuring, specially for the container segment, will also be implemented for the first time by the ACP. According to this program, when a particular TEU volume is reached, the frequent container customer will receive premium prices.
“The ACP deeply values the relationships we share with our customers. 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”, said Quijano, the Panama Canal CEO.
With today’s approval, the toll adjustments for the new Intra Maritime Cluster Segment go into effect directly, for all the other market segments, the price adjustments are scheduled to become effective from 1st of April 2016.