As part of the ongoing conversations with the shipping industry, a Panama Canal Authority (ACP) delegation headed by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano met with the International Association Of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko) and the International Association Of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo) in London.
This meeting is part of the permanent dialogue that the Panama Canal holds to reaffirm its relationship with customers and get feedback on their needs in anticipation of the opening of the Third Set of Locks.
“We meet with our customers face-to-face as often as we can, to understand what best suits their business and try to tailor to each segment’s needs,” Quijano said. "We are trying to get closer to how are clients look at their business.”
During the meeting, Canal officials presented a progress report on the waterway's Expansion Program and discussed the conceptual framework of the waterway's toll structure after the expansion.
In addition, the new concept of the just-in-time service was discussed. This service will allow booked vessels to arrive at an hour much closer to their scheduled transit time instead of arriving earlier, having to remain for several hours at anchor before actually beginning their transit. The ACP started the trial period beginning February 1, 2013, for up to 60 calendar days.
Intertanko is an open forum for independent tanker owners and operators of oil and chemical tankers in the industry. Intercargo is an association for owners, operators and managers on the dry bulk cargo industry.
The Expansion Program will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer and wider ships. The Expansion will allow the Canal to uphold its position as a reliable route at the service of international commerce.