Panama Canal Authority has launched transit reservations for Neopanamax vessels effective June 27, 2016, as the inauguration date for the expanded locks and the commercial operations of the canal are approaching, GAC said.
The Neopanamax ships, with dimensions of over 294.44 meters in length or over 32.62 meters in beam, will be offered a maximum of four booking slots per day during the first period, of which no more than two slots will be available per direction, according to GAC.
One slot will be offered to such passenger vessels during the special booking period, while there will be no distinction made between commercial passenger vessels and other vessels when assigning any remaining booking slots in the other booking periods.
The Neopanamax vessels will have a strict arrival schedule, and in case of late arrival, the vessels will be required to pay penalties of an additional fee of 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%, depending on the late arrival time.
Booked vessels will be required to arrive by 10 pm the day prior to their booked date, LNG vessels will be required to arrive by 3:30 am on their booked date, while passenger vessels are exempt from this requirement.
Take a look at the following video by the Panama Canal Authority which demonstrates how the new Neopanamax locks will operate within the Expanded Panama Canal once inaugurated on June 26.
The long-awaited expansion project of the canal has reached 97 percent completion, based on the latest update from the canal authority.
The new locks will allow for the passage of between 10 and 12 Neopanamax vessels in approximately 40 daily transits through the Panama Canal.
World Maritime News Staff, Video Source: Panama Canal