Panama Canal Gathers Industry Input on Toll Structure Proposal

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) recently held a public hearing on proposed toll structure modifications, which are set to be implemented January 1, 2020, reports Feedstuffs.

Final proposal approval

After a careful evaluation and analysis of the comments received, and once all pertinent considerations are incorporated into the structure, the ACP said its Board of Directors will approve the final proposal. 

From there, the proposal will be presented to the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama, which will officially approve the modifications.

Proposed toll modifications

ACP said the proposed modifications are designed to increase transparency and flexibility, to ensure the waterway remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward.

The proposed tolls modifications will impact the dry bulk, passenger, containership, vehicle carrier, roll on roll off (RoRo) and tankers.

Dry bulk segment: 

  • Matches tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and “other dry bulk” cargoes.
  • Includes a tariff adjustment for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast.

Passenger segment: 

  • The modifications add transparency to the tolls structure of the passenger segment by charging based on the maximum passenger capacity that can be carried by each specific passenger vessel. 
  • The unit of measurement is changing from a “per berth” to a “per passenger” basis, making it easier for cruise lines to transfer transit costs to their customers.

Containership segment: 

  • Offers more attractive incentives for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2,000,001 to 3,000,000 TEU, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3,000,000 TEU.

Vehicle carrier and RoRo segment: 

  • Creates a new tariff category precisely designed for Neopanamax vessels. 
  • Additional modifications for this segment include slight changes in tolls tariffs for Panamax-sized vessels, as well as minor adjustments based on vessel size ranges.

Tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels: 

  • Toll structures remain unchanged, but tolls adjustments are proposed to more closely align with the value of the route.

Small vessels and local tourism: 

  • Revised to consider the resources used in the transit and the complexity of accommodating these vessels within the locks’ chambers.

Containers on deck: 

  • Reviews the rates charged to non-container vessels carrying containers on deck, to apply a TEU differentiated charge for TEUs that are empty, loaded dry and loaded refrigerated.

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Source: Feedstuffs

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