A man, a plan, a canal: Panama's new charges are a step too far for ICS Secretary General Guy Platten. Image Credit: ICS
The cost of passing through the Panama Canal may increase by more than 30% this year as the local authorities impose new charges, according to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
The Panama Canal Authority's new "freshwater charge" may add as much as 15% to costs, and this year's toll modification another 17%, the ICS said in a statement on its website Thursday.
"Cost hikes in this range, without sufficient warning, place undue pressure on the industry at a sensitive time when we are being asked to invest in a low emissions future," Guy Platten, secretary general of the ICS, said in the statement.
"We encourage the Panama Port Authority to consider postponing the introduction of the 'Freshwater Charge' to give industry a chance to better prepare."
Panama saw healthy growth in marine fuel sales last year, gaining 22% to 5.35 million mt.