Panama Canal Authority postpones planned price hike

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has postponed by six weeks price increases on canal transit fees which were due to come into effect today.

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

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

ACP has linked the increased fees to changing supply and demand conditions for the service it offers.

ICS secretary general Guy Platten said the shipping industry was keen to establish a productive dialogue with the ACP to develop a long-term pricing strategy to provide industry with predictability on transit costs.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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