At the request of its clients, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has taken the decision to extend the special customer friendly programme, first introduced to provide short-term cost reduction, a temporary redefinition of ballast (ships without passengers and cargo) for full container vessels transiting the Canal, and greater flexibility to its Reservation System until the first quarter of 2010. The temporary redefinition of the ballast concept for full container vessels allows a ship that carries 30% or less of its capacity to be charged the ballast rate of $57.60 per TEU, $14.40 less than the $72 laden (ships with cargo) rate.
The programme was set up to help clients cope with the present economic scenario and was developed on the basis of feedback with these clients. It was initially introduced at the beginning of June this year for four months, thus ending last month. Since customers found value in the temporary measures, ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubiet said the programme would be extended.