Panama Canal To Allow Swapping of Slots Between Alliance Members

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is pleased to announce that effective December 1, 2017, as an ongoing effort to enhance the service offered to the maritime industry, swapping and substitution of booking slots between container vessels of alliance members will be allowed, on a temporary basis, under the following conditions:

  • Both vessels must be of the same type and must belong to the containership
  • Both vessels must belong to the same vessel classification (Neopanamax, super or
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  • Both vessels must be transiting in the same direction.
  • For swaps, vessels must have similar transit restrictions, and for substitutions, the new vessel must have similar or lesser transit restrictions.
  • Both vessel operators must belong to services under the same alliance.
  • The booking date of the vessels involved in the swap or substitution must be within the effective date of the services and of the alliance.

If the request for substitution is received at least seven days in advance of the booked vessel’s required arrival, no cancellation fee will be assessed.

Vessels within the same alliance are permitted to swap their reserved transit slots up to five times per booking. The swapping fee to be applied will depend on the number of swaps that the vessel is involved in, as per the swapping fee table published in Notice to Shipping N-7-2017.

Vessel agents or shipping lines interested in participating in swaps and substitutions within alliance members, shall send documentation regarding the alliance agreement to The ACP may request additional information from shipping lines in order to verify their membership in the alliance.

It is important that vessel agents register in the Maritime Service Portal the corresponding liner service for each
vessel’s visit prior to submitting the request for swap or substitution.

We would like to remind all customers that any changes regarding established alliance members, changes of effective dates, customer consolidations or deactivations, shall be presented to ACP in a timely manner in order to update our records.


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