Panama Canal modifies transit reservation system

August 31, 2018

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The Panama Canal announced changes to the Transit Reservation (booking) System for Neopanamax vessels, effective October 1, 2018. The Panama Canal Authority said in its statement, “The modifications are a step in a positive direction for the Neopanamax Locks and take into consideration the lifting of certain navigation rules for LNG vessels and ongoing customer feedback, as well as routine analysis of the utilization and fair market value of the Expanded Canal.”

Currently, customers may reserve transits during three booking periods determined by the number of days prior to the requested transit date. However, the announced adjustments will introduce a new booking period within the first booking period, called booking period 1.a, which will be accompanied by corresponding modifications to the duration and slot allocation within each booking period. These changes will also include a transition period for those LNG vessels that have already obtained slots during the current booking period 1, which will allow customers to release them without being charged a cancellation fee.

Edited from Panama Canal Authority Press Release.