Panama Canal Authority Adjusts Transit Reservation System

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced several adjustments to the transit reservation system, including an increase in booking slots and other modifications. In the Neopanamax Locks, one slot is being added in Period 1.a., and in the Panamax Locks, two slots from the supers category are being carried over from Period 1 to Period 2.

Additionally, the ACP has introduced a new allocation procedure, which includes a limit of one booking slot per customer per date in certain cases. These changes are in response to the current and projected level of Gatun Lake and the ongoing water crisis in the Panama Canal. The ACP aims to provide a more equitable and fair distribution of slots due to the reduction in transit slots caused by the water crisis.

The following table summarises the new distribution of slots for the three vessel categories:

Vessel CategorySpecial PeriodPeriod 1Period 1.A
(30-15 days)
Period 2 (14-8 days)Period 3 Auctions (7-2 days)Total

Furthermore, the ACP has outlined the slot allocation priority and limits per customer for different booking periods and vessel categories.

The following table summarises the slot allocation and priorities per booking period for the Neopanamax Locks:

Special Period
(730 To 366 Days)
Period 1
(90 To 31 Days)
Period 1.A
(30 To 15 Days)
Period 2
(14 To 8 Days)
Period 3
(7 To 2 Days)
Number of slots12211
Slot allocation priorityPassenger vessels only based on customer rankingFull container vessels only based on customer rankingPriority to full containers; then LNG, LPG, and Vehicle Carrier/RoRo market segments based on customer ranking.
Any additional slots: priority to full containers, then vessels from LNG, LPG, and Vehicle Carrier market segments based on customer ranking.
Priority to full containers, then by customer ranking.
Conditioned slot (if available): priority to full containers; then by customer ranking.
Any additional slots: full containers, followed by vessels from any market segment based on customer ranking.
All slots allocated to the highest bidder through auctions.

These adjustments and the full details of their implementation can be found in the official advisory released by the ACP below.

If you have any questions, please email