Effective January 15, 2018, booking slots of booked Neopanamax vessels that transit the Panama Canal prior to their reserved date may be reassigned to other interested Neopanamaxes.
This is under a condition that the booked ship transits more than two days prior to its reserved transit date.
“These slots will be announced as early as practical, generally on the day that the slot becomes available, and will be offered through a special competition in the same manner as when the slots become available due to cancellations or changes in booking dates,” the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in its Advisory to Shipping.
With this change, the Panama Canal intends to increase the availability of slots for Neopanamax vessels.
In December 2017, the Panama Canal increased the number of daily booking slots available for Neopanamaxes from six to seven. The seven daily booking slots for Neopanamax vessels are offered in addition to the 23 slots available each day for transit through the Panamax locks.