Panama Canal Cuts Booking Slots


Following numerous delays for non-booked vessels, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is responding by reducing the amount of ‘super’ ships it will accommodate.

After a number of recent transit delays and issues, the ACP has decided the best course of action is to temporarily cut the booking slots for ‘super’ vessels in their third period. From January 20, the number of booking slots for these large vessels will be reduced to five. The congestion easing measure will be effective until further notice.

‘Super’ vessels are slightly smaller than Neopanamax ships, and are classified as being 91ft. and over in beam. Neopanamax on the other hand have a beam of more than 107ft.

A spokesman for the ACP told the Loadstar that “The advisory has absolutely nothing to do with the Expanded Panama Canal – where Neopanamax ships can transit.” The intention is to fully alleviate the unusual delays that shipping lines are experiencing following complaints of extended waiting periods. According to reports, non-booked transit vessels have being facing delays of seven to eight days.

This is the latest in a number of issues plaguing the expanded Panama Canal. Just last week (January 13 2017) the ACP was embroiled in a financial dispute with the contractors who worked on the construction of the third lock. 

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