New Tolls, Loyalty Program for Panama Canal, Bunkering Moved to New Segment

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday May 4, 2015

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Thursday announced The Cabinet Council of Panama has approved a new toll structure for vessels transiting the Panama Canal with changes that include marine bunkering vessels being moved into a new segment.

Along with bunkering vessels, the new Intra Maritime Cluster Segment includes local tourism vessels and container transshipment vessels that do not compete with international trade, with the change coming into immediate effect.

In addition, the pricing structure for most canal segments and the establishing of a new segment specifically for liquid natural gas (LNG) tankers will take effect on April 1, 2016, in line with the expected opening of the Panama Canal expansion.

"Most segments will now be priced based upon different units of measurement to meet and align with the diverse traffic transiting the locks," said ACP.

"For instance, dry bulkers 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 (PC/UMS) 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.

However ACP said a new customer-loyalty program for the container segment will be introduced alongside the new tolls, that will see box shippers receive "premium prices" once a particular TEU volume is reached.

"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 and CEO Jorge L. Quijano.

"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."

In March, Panama said it was also considering a fourth set of locks to handle 20,000 TEU mega ships.