The canal commission held back toll increases for the rest of 2010, but they say "it is time to pay up" in 2011 according to this article from Port Strategy. I would bet a lot will depend upon the economy and how well world shipping is doing in the next 6 months. Panama needs more consumption in the Walmarts. Come on Americans, spend more money!
The Panama Canal has benefitted from investment, says ACP, and it is time to start paying up.
The Panama Canal Authority, (ACP) has announced that it is looking to raise its charges from January next year.
ACP figures reveal that most bulk cargo will face at least a 12% rise, but dry bulk will be hit by around 16% extra.
For the container segment, the ACP has proposed a change in the way tolls are calculated, with a slight price adjustment to the capacity charge, and an additional new charge that would apply to the number of loaded containers aboard the vessel at the time of transit – which together appear to amount to a general increase of around 14%.
The ACP added that temporary help for the shipping sector using the Panama transit was put into place in June 2009 and that help was extended until April 30, 2010, at the industry’s request. Further, its toll adjustment has been set back to January 2011 – but the time is fast approaching for the market to start paying a realistic share of the costs of the expansion.
ACP points out that the multi-million dollar modernisation and improvement program has reduced Canal Waters Time from 31.6 hours to a current average time of 20 hours, while the construction of a third set of locks will come in at $5.25bn. These improvements have resulted in faster service and, in some cases have reduced the need for transit reservations providing Canal users substantial savings.
Expansion will double the waterway’s capacity by 2014. ACP adds that the industry will benefit from economies of scale resulting in lower transportation costs for world commerce.