ACP to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Changes

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) held a public hearing in the Ascanio Arosemena Auditorium in Balboa, Panama, on its proposal to restructure the Panama Canal’s pricing system and certain regulations. Fourteen representatives from shipping and government participated in this opportunity to express their views. Throughout the consultation period (February 2, 2007 – March 12, 2007), the proposal was made available to all interested parties. The ACP received a total of 21 written submissions, in both English and Spanish, from individuals and groups. Prior to the proposal’s announcement, informal consultations were conducted by the ACP with customers and the maritime industry to listen and receive their inputs. As the world becomes more interconnected – barriers dropping, tariffs reduced – the value of the Panama Canal and its role in the global supply chain grow. Shippers moving goods from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia can save up to 10 voyage days via the Panama Canal, and vessels traveling from the West Coast of South America to the U.S. East Coast shave an estimated eight to 16 voyage days compared to alternative routes. Given the cost increases in shipbuilding, fuel and vessel operations, the route through the Panama Canal has significantly increased its value to its users. The ACP’s Board of Directors will review the comments received during the official consultation period and will submit its recommendation to the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama for approval in the coming weeks.

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