Panama Canal bows to market concerns finally

Panama City: The Panama Canal Authority, or ACP, will adopt a temporary plan to reduce tariffs in the short term starting June 1 to help the international maritime industry deal with the current economic crisis, canal officials said.

The plan, approved last week by the ACP board of directors, will be effective until Sept. 30 of this year and at the same time will provide the reservations system with added flexibility, a communique from canal authorities issued Thursday said. The plan includes two components: the redefinition of “ballast” (freighters without passengers or cargo) for container carriers going through the canal, and modifications to the reservations system to increase flexibility and reduce tariffs. In the first component the definition of “ballast” is modified for container-carrying vessels to allow those carrying 30 percent or less of total capacity a fee of $57.60 per TEU (a 20-foot-long container).

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