The Panama Canal Authority has adjusted booking slot allocations for Panamax and Neopanamax locks due to a water crisis.
Notable changes include the introduction of additional slots in specific periods, the continuation of daily and special auctions, and the implementation of restrictions on the number of slots that can be awarded to individual customers.
For Neopanamax Locks, a significant change involves the addition of a slot in Period 1.a., with applications being accepted from December 17, 2023, for transit dates commencing January 16, 2024.
The existing daily auction slot in Period 3 will continue, and two auction slots in Period 3 will be made available to supers and regular vessels starting January 9, 2024.
Panamax Locks will witness adjustments such as the carryover of two slots of the supers category from Period 1 to Period 2 and the inclusion of an additional slot for the regular vessel category in Period 2.
Also, two auction slots in Period 3 will be accessible to supers and regular vessels from January 9, 2024.
In light of the water crisis, measures have been implemented to ensure a fair distribution of slots, including limitations on the number of slots awarded per customer.
For Neopanamax Locks, as of January 16, 2024, only one booking slot per customer per date will be permitted, with specific exemptions for auctioned slots and under certain conditions.
Additionally, adjustments have been made to tiebreaker competition rules, specifying limits on the number of slots per customer.
Exceptions apply for slots awarded through auctions and under specific conditions.
The slot assignment priority for Neopanamax locks has been redefined to prioritize full container vessels in Booking Periods 1.a and 2.
If slots remain available, they may be assigned to vessels in other market segments based on customer ranking.
A comprehensive table in this document summarizes the new distribution of slots for Neopanamax Locks, emphasizing the allocation priority and corresponding market segments.
These adjustments, effective from tiebreaker competitions on December 17, 2023, for transit dates beginning January 16, 2024, aim to manage the challenges posed by the water crisis, ensuring a balanced and structured system for booking slots in the Panama Canal.