Panama Canal to Enable Alliances’ Boxships to Swap, Substitute Booking Slots

Image Courtesy: Panama Canal Authority

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) plans to allow swapping and substitution of booking slots between container vessels of members of an alliance, the ACP said in its Advisory to Shipping. 

Starting from December 1, 2017, swapping and substitution will be allowed on a temporary basis under the following conditions:

  • Both vessels must be of the same type and must belong to the containership segment;
  • Both vessels must belong to the same vessel classification (Neopanamax, super or regular);
  • Both vessels must be transiting in the same direction. For swaps, vessels must have similar transit restrictions, and for substitutions, the new vessel must have similar or lesser transit restrictions;
  • Both vessel operators must belong to services under the same alliance;
  • The booking date of the vessels involved in the swap or substitution must be within the effective date of the services and of the alliance.

If the request for substitution is received at least seven days in advance of the booked vessel’s required arrival, no cancellation fee will be assessed, according to the ACP.

Vessels within the same alliance are permitted to swap their reserved transit slots up to five times per booking. The swapping fee to be applied will depend on the number of swaps that the vessel is involved in, the ACP said.

Separately, the ACP announced it will modify the booking cancellation fees, effective October 15, 2017. The move comes due to the opening of the Expanded Panama Canal and the incorporation of Neopanamax vessels into the Transit Reservation system.

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