Panama Canal booking rule changes fogs VLGC transit plans

LPG in World Markets February 2021 Since the new locks at the Panama Canal opened in 2Q 2016, LPG carriers have been frequent callers at the waterway. Between January and December 2020, around 26% of the total transits through the new locks were by LPG vessels, second only to Container vessels. The overwhelming majority of LPG vessels moving through the new locks are Far East-bound VLGCs. According to Poten records, around 81% of laden VLGCs headed for Asia from the US Gulf transited the Panama Canal in 2020. In 2019, this ratio was 76%. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) made a few key changes to the pre-booking rules on the last day of 2020. It announced that it would accept booking requests only from neopanamax container and passenger vessels during Booking Period 1 with effect from Jan 4, 2021. Similarly, booking requests for neopanamax container, passenger, and LNG vessels only will be accepted during Booking Period 1.a. All other vessel segments will be able to apply for slots at the opening of Booking Period 2. To read the full article, click here.
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