The Japanese Shipowners’ Association said a decision by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to delay planned toll hike for three months does not go far enough.
In a letter, JSA said the relief "is very marginal and does very little to obviate the cost penalties to the shipping industry which will apply if the ACP plans are implemented in their present form, especially under the current circumstance where shipping companies were beset by operating losses during the adverse economic environment of 2011, that exceeded $6 billion."
The association asked the canal authority to "rescind the revised proposal, and to hold a substantial consultative dialogue with maritime representatives on long-term pricing guidelines, with the aim of making them stable, reasonable and transparent.
"Although there is a substantial distance between JSA’s position and that of ACP regarding the toll issue, JSA sincerely believes, on the other hand, that such mutual and constructive consultations could establish a win-win relationship between both the ACP and canal users, whereby such constructive dialogue could also address an issue of increasing the efficiency of the canal’s operation," the association said. - Chris Dupin