Panama Canal Authority launches just-in-time service

  • New service to offer ship’s navigating the Canal a more efficient transit, say the ACP

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has launched its new just-in-time service (JIT) that will allow vessels navigating the 48-mile stretch of waterway a more efficient transit.

The new service will enable ships to arrive much closer to their scheduled transit time, and allow for more efficient fuel usage as anchorage times prior to entering the Canal will be significantly reduced.

“This new service is part of our efforts to explore new options in order to better serve our customers,” said Panama Canal administrator, Jorge Quijano.

“The Panama Canal is not only committed to maintaining a high quality service, but also improvements in the necessary areas.”

In order for the service to be functional for both the Canal and its clients, the vessels' arrival time (ETA) must be as accurate as possible. The vessel must be willing and able to adjust its itinerary to meet the required ETA. Furthermore, the vessels must comply with the ACP pre-inspection procedures.

To achieve an effective level of JIT service, the selected vessels will be notified approximately 96 hours prior to their scheduled transit of their required ETA and tentative transit time. The Panama Canal will then use Satellite Automatic Identification System (SAIS) technology to track the vessels within a range of 2,000 nautical miles before arrival and ensure that they can comply with the stipulated ETA.

The JIT service will begin with a trial period focusing on vessels equipped with a type A Automatic Identification System (AIS) device.

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