On 5th July, at the conclusion of a 32-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) held a public hearing on its tolls structure modifications proposal.
“The modified tolls will safeguard the Canal’s competitiveness, charge a fair price for the value of the route and provide a competitive service to the global shipping industry,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “The public hearing is a key part of the tolls modification process, which ensures all interested parties can provide feedback for consideration.”
All comments received at the public hearing and in writing will be carefully evaluated and analyzed by the Board of Directors, which will submit its recommendation to the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama, for official approval. The final decision will then be announced to the shipping community.
Initially announced on June 1, the modifications were proposed after a thorough analysis of the current utilization and productivity of the Neopanamax Locks, and after meetings with Panama Canal executives, customers and industry representatives in Europe, Asia and North America. These meetings provided a deeper understanding of the industry today, the challenges faced by individual market segments and the projected demand for the Neopanamax Locks.
The proposed modifications provide additional incentives to the container segment for their return voyages, a reclassification of the container/breakbulk vessels, and revised tolls for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) segments, reflecting the changing demand for the route.