The Panama Canal Authority is testing a new concept of "just-in-time" service with vessel operators.
The service allows booked vessels to arrive much closer to their scheduled transit times, instead of arriving earlier and having to remain for several hours at anchor before actually beginning their transits.
The authority started a trial of the service on Feb. 1 that will run for up to 60 days.
It said a delegation
from the canal, headed by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, discussed the program last week with representatives of two shipping groups - the International
Association Of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) and International Association Of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo) - in
London, where a "conceptual framework" of
the waterway's toll structure post-expansion was also discussed.
When tolls were changed last year, the canal said the new toll structure "was conceived in accordance with the commercial value that the route offers its users," but a spokesman for the canal said the discussions last week centered on "the structure after the canal expansion. But nothing is defined yet, for the time being it is just on-going discussions with customers." - Chris Dupin