The Panama Canal has so far gained 80 million dollars due to the its expansion allowing the transit of 165 large vessels, according to Jorge Luis Quijano, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP, in Spanish).
Since the opening of the new Panama locks, the Suez Canal, administered by Egypt, began a competition and 65 percent of their tariffs went down, but ‘we will not enter into a price war,’ Quijano told reporters.
The Suez Canal discounts meant that many ships visiting the East Coast of the United States, instead of returning to the west coast by Panama, do so through the Egyptian route, representing a loss of about $ 600,000 each time, he revealed.
The new locks, opened on June 26th, allowed the crossing of ships known as Post-Panamax or Neo-Panamax, whose dimensions exceed 294 meters in length and 32.3 meters in width.
Another element affecting profits at the facility is the bankruptcy of the South Korean shipping company Hanjin.
The company ships are being diverted through other routes meaning that the Canal does not receive ‘significant’ amounts of money, according to the source.
At present there are two vessels owned by the South Korean company waiting for the economic situation of the company to be resolved, they will cross at a cost of ‘nearly 700,000 dollars’ each, Quijano said.
The Norwegian ship Höegh Target, the largest car carrier in the world, yesterday began exploring a route through the Interoceanic Canal.
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Source: Prensa Latina