Additional auction slot in Panamax Locks

25 Nov 2023 / Panama Canal, Panama

Beginning November 25, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will be offering, on a temporary basis, a special auction slot in the Panamax Locks.

This additional slot will be offered depending on the level of Gatun Lake and rainfall projections for the upcoming weeks. The purpose of this measure is to provide greater opportunity of obtaining a slot for vessels in the Panamax Locks that have been waiting in the transit queue for an extended period.

This special auction will be available to all supers and regular vessels that have already arrived at Canal waters, have been in the transit queue for at least 10 days from the date the auction is held, and do not have a booking slot. The auction will normally be announced three (3) days prior to the transit date and will be held two (2) days prior to the transit date. The initial bid for this auction will be $55,000.00.

The first special auction under this measure will be held on November 25, for transit date November 27. For this auction, only vessels that arrived prior to 0000 hours on November 17, and that have not acquired booking slot, will be eligible to participate.

The subsequent dates when this special auction will be held and the specific conditions of the slots to be offered will be notified three (3) days prior to the transit date.

Other modifications to the Transit Reservation System rules are:

* Slots that become available during Booking Period 3 may be offered through extraordinary auctions, depending on several factors, including Gatun Lake water level, transit date advancement requests, and operational considerations.

* Effective immediately, only transit date advancement requests from full containers with 14 days or less between the booking date and the transit date requested will be considered. However, requests for transit advancement of full container vessels that have already obtained a booking slot prior to the publication of this advisory will be considered.

* Effective immediately, and for a limited time, supers and Neopanamax vessels with High Mast Lighting designator “C” (HML-C) may be substituted by vessels with High Mast Lighting designator “Y” (HML-Y). This measure is being implemented on a temporary basis to provide greater flexibility while the limitation to the daily transits remains in effect.

* The substitution fee applicable to vessels awarded an auctioned slot will be based on the vessel’s regular booking fee and not the winning bid amount.

While the current water deficit persists in the Canal watershed, the Transit Reservation system is the only mechanism available to guarantee a transit date. Therefore, vessels without reservation may experience indefinite delays.

(For information about operations in Panama Canal, contact GAC Panama at [email protected])

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory To Shipping No. A-50-2023 dated 24 November 2023

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