Following the recommendation from the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the Panamanian government approved this week the proposal to restructure the Panama Canal's pricing system.
The new tolls structure was conceived in accordance with the commercial value that the route offers its users. We look forward to working alongside the industry to continue offering a reliable and competitive service, said Panama Canal Authority Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
The new tolls were postponed to October 2012 and October 2013, respectively.
The new structure offers price stability to the Panama Canal clients during the next two years, while the approved tolls remain below the value it offers as a safe, reliable and efficient route, added Alemán Zubieta.
The new structure increases the number of segments from eight to ten. It also breaks down the tanker segment into three distinct segments and incorporates the roll-on/roll-off vessels into the vehicle carrier segment. The Panama Canal market segmentation structure includes the following: (1) full container, (2) reefer, (3) dry bulk, (4) passenger, (5) vehicle carrier and ro-ro, (6) tanker, (7) chemical tanker, (8) LPG, (9) general cargo and (10) others. The container/breakbulk segment, which was included in the original proposal, has been eliminated.
The ACP will increase the tolls for the following segments: general cargo; dry bulk; tanker; chemical tanker; LPG; vehicle carrier and ro-ro and others. Toll increases average 15%.
The remaining segments will not be adjusted at this time, nor will the price per TEU for containers carried onboard a vessel. Additionally, there will be changes to tolls applicable to small vessels based on vessel length, to incorporate adjustments not previously considered.
The canal authorities estimate that during the current fiscal year (October 2011/September 2012) a record volume of 330 million tons will have been crossed by vessels operating through the canal.
Since 1999 when the canal was transferred for the US to Panama, its contribution to the local economy is estimated in over 6.6 billion dollars. The canals’ budget for the next fiscal year, recently approved by the Panamanian government has been estimated at 2.38 billion dollars of which 1.138 billion will go the Panamanian Treasury.