The Panama Canal Authority has implemented several changes to the Transit Reservation System in order to better serve the needs of their customers, such as vessel swaps, substitutions, change of transit date. However, customers with lower rankings have expressed concern regarding difficulties in acquiring booking slots, particularly in the 3rd period, due to the “weighted ranking” system, which tends to favor customers with higher rankings, leaving them with no option but to wait their turn to transit on a first come-first served basis.
To provide these customers with an alternative, the ACP will offer an additional booking slot through an auction process which will only be available on dates when ALL booking slots for either SUPERS (91ft in beam or over but under 107ft) or REGULARS (under 91ft in beam) have been allocated. The auction process will begin no later than 1400 hours on the opening day of the 3rd booking period for the slot to be auctioned or not later than 1100 hours on the closing day of the 3rd period (two days before transit date of auctioned slot), and will end not earlier than 1300 hrs on the closing day of the 3rd period (two days before transit date of auctioned slot). The auction system, at this stage, is not open for Neopanamax vessels (beam over 107ft).
There are a total of 15 booking spaces on a daily basis for SUPERS (vessels 91ft beam or over but under 107ft), 08 for REGULARS (under 91ft) and 07 for NEOPANAMAX (beam over 107 ft). These spaces are assigned to customers in three booking periods:
- Passengers: 547 days to 366 days prior to the requested transit date
- (1st) First Period 365 to 22 days prior to the requested transit date
- (2nd) Second Period 21 to 4 days prior to the requested transit date
- (3rd) Third Period 3 to 2 days prior to the requested transit date
|1st Booking Period||1.a Booking Period||2nd Booking Period||3rd Booking Period||Total|
|Neopanamax: beam over 107 ft (32.62m)||1||2||2||3||0||8*|
|Supers: 91ft. (27.74m) in beam and over||3||4||0||3||3||13|
|Regulars: under 91ft. (27.74m) in beam||3||0||0||1||4||8|
|Total of 27 Slots||7||6||2||7||9||31|
NOTE: No more than one (01) LNG carrier can be booked per day, any direction; no more than one LNG carrier can transit per day booked or not booked in any direction.