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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

95 years of the Panama Canal.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to Brad Skelton's blog-The Shipping Bloke)

The 15th of August saw the Panama Canal hit it's 95th anniversary of operations.

During this time about 983,000 ships have passed through it safely and it has been instrumental in the development of Panama itself.

Tolls are levied on the ships according to their net tonnage and type. So for a RoRo ship like Wallenius Wilhelmsen's, "Tampa", that has a net tonnage of 26,072, the toll applied per transit is about US$99187.00. For containerships the rate applied by the authority is US$72.00 per 20' container the vessel is carrying. See where some of the money goes in the freight rates you pay?

Right now the Panama Canal Authority(ACP) is undertaking a US$5 billion expansion so it can cater for the new larger vessels and increased traffic that cannot currently pass through it.

It's fascinating watching vessels go through the canal. The ACP operates live webcams so you can tune in and see ships transitting through. Check it out. Alternatively for a time lapse ride on a cruise ship please click here.

The Panama Canal is a vital link in global shipping reducing transit times and operating expenses for vessel owners and I am certain will remain as important as ever for another 95 years.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke

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