The interoceanic route offers greater flexibility to its customers through adjustments to its reservation system. In order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Panama Canal announced a temporary adjustment to its reservation system, which will provide its clients with greater flexibility and assistance.
As of May 4, 2020, the interoceanic highway will implement temporary changes in the requirements for making reservations and the advance payment of reservation fees when confirmed. In this way, customers can place the guarantee of the payment of their reserve quota before the ship begins its transit.
“The Panama Canal has served its clients for more than a century, so we understand the importance of working in partnership and the ability to adapt to the times,” said the administrator of the Panama Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.
“The coming months will be a challenge for the industry, but our goal is to help reduce the economic impact to our customers today, so that we can all be prepared for the future,” he added.
The measure will be in effect for 120 days and will last until September 1, 2020. This decision was made after dialogues between representatives of the Panama Canal and industry leaders during which the Canal gathered information on how to support its clients.
In January, the Canal implemented measures to ensure the continuity of its operations, the health of its collaborators, its clients and the crew of ships in transit, in response to the new coronavirus pandemic. In March, the interoceanic highway reinforced its procedures, adjusting the presence of on-site collaborators only to those considered essential for transit operations, and demanded strict compliance with the protocols established by the Panamanian health authorities.
The Panama Canal reaffirms its commitment to provide savings in terms of time, costs and environmental impact to its customers, as well as to shipping companies that wish to take advantage of the strategic geographical position of the route through Panama. The interoceanic highway will continue to operate normally with the necessary personnel to keep its service safe and profitable.