American Shipper

Panama Canal: Tolls unchanged in 2010

Panama Canal: Tolls unchanged in 2010

   The Panama Canal Authority said it will not adjust tolls this year, but will implement changes in how they are calculated in January 2011.

   Beginning last June the canal “provided temporary measures to help users mitigate the effects of the ongoing economic crisis that were extended to the end of this month,” said Alberto Alem'n Zubieta, the authority’s chief executive officer.

   The canal said it proposes modifying the pricing structure for all canal segments: container, dry bulk, liquid bulk, vehicle carriers, reefers, passenger, general cargo, and others. The proposal is laid out in a 51-page document.


   For the container segment, the authority said it will “change the way tolls are calculated, with a slight price adjustment to the capacity charge, and an additional new charge that would only apply to the number of loaded containers aboard the vessel at the time of transit.”

   The canal invited formal written comments and opinions from interested parties until May 27. It will also hold a public hearing will be held in Panama on June 1.

   The canal also released information on its operation in the second quarter of its fiscal year ending March 31 compared to the same period a year earlier. It said Canal Waters Time, the average time it takes a vessel to transit the canal (including waiting time for passage) fell 24.7 percent to 19.75 hours from 26.22 hours. CWT for booked vessels, those ships holding reservations, also experienced a decrease, 20.4 percent to 12.59 hours from 15.83 hours.

   Total canal transits declined 1.5 percent to 3,854 transits from 3,914.