Tolls & Water Supply on Panama Canal Agenda

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On April 1, 2022, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) released a proposal to change the toll structure and fees for the next three years.

The proposal aimed at simplifying the structure and providing price stability for customers with a long term-plan for tolls, reports Seatrade Maritime News.

Proposal to change toll structure

In addition, the Canal plans to introduce in the future avariable, demand-based structure for the value-added services known as other marine services (OMS).

Canal authorities held virtual meetings and visited main clients in late 2021, to explain how the waterway wanted to change the existing system, make it simpler and convenient for liners’ long-term programming.

The proposed changes will not only modify the Panama Canal’s toll structure. Instead, they will recalibrate our overall business structure to line up with customers’ and industry’s goals,’ said ACP administrator Ricaurte Vasquez in an April LinkedIn message. ‘This proposal marks the start of a new era for the Panama Canal – one focused on maximising the value the waterway creates, captures, and renders to customers in today’s new trade landscape and moving forward,’ he added.

Its gradual implementation will begin in January 2023 until 2025, ‘giving customers time to sign their contracts considering the structure,’ Vasquez told Seatrade at the time. ‘By making these changes, we recognise the value of extending greater predictability today, while renewing our commitment to improving customer experience.’

Consolidating cargo in bigger ships through the Neopanamax locks

The new structure is an invitation to customers to consolidate cargo in bigger ships through the Neopanamax locks, which will release capacity and use less water. ‘From all the global maritime routes, Panama is the only one using freshwater, any of the Canal’s decisions today are geared towards improving fresh-water utilisation,’ explained Vasquez.

The proposed toll structure will reduce the number of tariffs from 430 to less than 60. The new pricing system has three components: A fixed price, the vessel’s capacity, and dynamic pricing for other marine services.

The proposal also modifies the loyalty programme created in 2021 for container vessels. The ACP wants to make it simple by reducing the number of categories from six to one. The plan is to have one loyalty level applicable to customers deploying more than 1.5m teu per year; the programme will be eliminated in 2025.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime News

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