New and Improved Transit Reservation System with
more Slots Available
In a constant effort to provide the best customer service and increase the capacity of the waterway. The
Panama Canal Authority (ACP) implemented a new and improved reservation system beginning
February 1,2008, increasing the number of reservation slots from 25 to 27. The Panama Canal transit
reservation system is a premium optional service that provides added value to those customers that
wish to secure a transit for a specific date. The changes include:
Two additional booking slots for supers (vessels 91' beam or more),for reservations made
during the first period (365 to 22 days prior to the requested transit date).
The availability of one slot prior to the opening of the first period and out of the
ACP customer ranking system to allow any interested customer a daily opportunity for a
Up to three slots available to vessels under 300' in length and without transit
restrictions, on a daily basis.
The availability of booking slots for passenger vessels between 547 and 366 days
before the transit date.
The new system includes fixed booking fees based on the vessel's size or dimensions to simplify how
ships are charged for booking a transit. Vessels booked for transit that fail to arrive before their required
arrival time now have the option of transiting on the day of their booking at a fee based on their actual
arrival time, which may be less than the previous flat fee of 200 percent of the booking fee. Reservations secured prior to the implementation date
of the changes are being honored at the rate that was in effect at the time the reservation was made.
The changes are the result of the Canal's ongoing modernization process which has several projects such as: the deepening of Gatun Lake and the
Atlantic and Pacific entrances,the construction of a second tie-up station and the further widening and straightening of the Gaillard Cut. In January,
the ACP began operation of its first tie-up station, which increased Canal capacity by another Panamax vessel per day.
Panamanian Ports Post Superb Growth
Last year, the Panamanian port system experienced increased growth by handling
more than 4 million TEUs, a 34 percent increase from the 3 million TEUs reported in
2006. This record growth is the result of millionaire investments in port expansions,
highly efficient service and the country's unique geographic connectivity.
The Republic of Panama offers an excellent multimodal transportation system, which
complements the Panama Canal. Its four international terminals operated by
Hutchison Port Holding, SSA Marine (Carrix) and Evergreen Marine are connected
through a railroad and a road system,and are strategically located at both entrances of
the waterway. The Panama Canal Railway also posted record numbers, transporting
220,000 container boxes in 2007,from 114,692 containers in 2006.
The transportation center includes the Colon Free Zone,one of the largest free zones in
the world, and is adjacent to the ports on the Atlantic side. More than 70 international
banks have operations in Panama and its dollar-based economy is a plus. All these
Arrival of four Super Post-Panamax quay cranes at the
Port of Balboa. Photo cortesy of PPC. advantages make Panama an ideal transshipment hub and logistics platform for the
Caribbean and Central American regional markets and the Americas.
In February 2008, Panama Ports Company, operated by Hutchison Ports Holding,
received four Super Post-Panamax quay cranes at the Port of Balboa. This equipment is part of the $300 million Phase IV Development of the port.
The delivery puts the total number of quay cranes,which are capable of serving 19-container-wide Post-Panamax vessels, at 18.
The Panama Canal Expansion Project In progress
Work for the construction of the Panama Canal's third set of locks continues
according to schedule. In the last few months, the contractors for the first two dry
excavation contracts, Constructora Urbana and Cilsa-Minera Marfa, continued the
work for the creation of the access channel that will link the new Pacific locks with
the Gaillard Cut at the west side of the Canal.
The procurement process for the design and construction of two locks complexes,
including water-saving basins, is already underway. The ACP has pre-qualified four
international consortia, composed of 30 companies from 13 countries for the job. In
February, the ACP met with bidders to discuss the guidelines for proposal
submissions, which are due in August 2008.
The wealth of experience, know-how and financial strength of these consortia will
make the next phase of the new locks contracting process very competitive.
The ACP will evaluate bids based on the best value concept and expects to award the
project's biggest contract by December 2008. Expansion will build a new lane of
Ongoing dry excavation work on Paraiso Hill traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which
will double capacity and allow more traffic and wider ships.
AAPA to Hold its Latin American Regional Meeting in Panama
From June 17-21,Panama City will host the American Association of Ports Authorities (AAPA) XVII Congress of Latin American Ports, under the theme
"How to Prepare Our Ports According to the Global Trend of Maritime Traffic" The country's strategic location,the Panama Canal's expansion project,
and the highly successful transshipment operation at ports on both sites of the Isthmus, make Panama City the ideal location for this event.
Topics will include: Latin America's role in global container traffic; the benefits of the Panama Canal's expansion in international and regional
commerce; regional transshipment; port finance; and maritime training, among others. For additional information, please visit the website:
The 15th Meeting of the ACP's Advisory Board
The ACP's Board of Directors and its Advisory Board met in Panama February 11-12 to
discuss strategy and trends in the shipping industry and to get the latest updates on the
ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemin Zubieta briefed the Advisory Board -composed
of global business, maritime and trade experts- on issues regarding Canal operations
and the progress of the expansion project, including its potential financing options. The
participants also visited the construction work sites where the new Pacific locks will be
The Advisory Board serves as a consultative body that provides guidance and
recommendations to the Board of Directors and the Canal administration
From left to right: 1st row: Philip A. Embiricos, SalvadorA. Jurado, William A. O'Neil (Chairman), Albert H. Nahmad, C.C. Tung
2nd row: Joe R. Reeder, Admiral William J. Flanagan, Gerhard Kurz, Flemming R. Jacobs.
Absent: Stephan Schmidheiny.
Panama Canal Authority Tel. (507) 272-7961
Your comments and suggestions are very important to us. If you need additional Market Research & Analysis Office (ME) Fax. (507) 272-1416
copies mailed to other officials within your corporation, please contact us at the P.O. BOX 526725 Miami FL. 33152-6725 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
address indicated in the next box.
SEE THIS NEWSLETTER ON THE ACP WEB SITE AT: www.pancanal.com
(then click on Virtual Newsrooms)