News

2021 April 15 11:41

Panama Canal Authority postpones planned price hike following calls from shipping industry

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced that it will postpone price increases on canal transit feesa, according to the company's release.

The announcement follows a joint letter sent by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), and European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA), expressing concerns over the speed of price increases that were expected to begin from 15 April 2021.

The proposed changes represent a minimum cost increase per transit reservation of US$20,000 (up 57%) and a maximum cost increase of US$58,500 (up 167%) will now start on 1 June 2021.

The letter, sent on 17 March 2021, expressed concerns over the “significant increase” of the fees and stated that the 15 April start-date given by the ACP was too short for the maritime industry and canal users to be able to adjust. ACP has linked the increased fees to changing supply and demand conditions for the service it offers.

Panama Canal is one of the world’s busiest shipping routes; nearly 14,000 transits were made last year.

On 13 April 2021, the ACP announced the postponed date for the new booking tariffs. This change in the implementation date will provide the maritime industry more time to prepare for the adjustment to the new booking fees.

This announcement comes as a relief to the shipping industry, that has been navigating the crew change crisis and other COVID-19 pandemic related disruptions. The shipping industry commends the ACP’s decision and welcomes ongoing communication on issues central to preserving the global supply chain.