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Panama Canal extends temporary relief measures to the end of the year

THE Panama Canal has extended its temporary relief measures, implemented on May 4 until the end of September, to December 31, 2020, in a move to offer further support for the industry's recovery from Covid-19 pandemic which continues to impact the global economy

26 August 2020 - 19:00

THE Panama Canal has extended its temporary relief measures, implemented on May 4 until the end of September, to December 31, 2020, in a move to offer further support for the industry's recovery from Covid-19 pandemic which continues to impact the global economy.

'This extension comes after continued dialogue between the Canal and industry leaders on how to best provide relief as the world looks to recover from the economic and social impact of Covid-19,' the canal authority said in a statement.



'Despite the challenges faced earlier this year, I am confident we will see a steady recovery going into our 2021 Fiscal Year for both the Canal and its customers,' said Panama Canal administrator Ricaurte Vasquez Morales. The waterway's fiscal year will end on September 30, 2020.



The relief measures include the suspension of advance payments for transit reservation fees and other changes to the waterway's reservation system. Together, they allow customers to maintain higher liquidity, as well as added flexibility for swapping or substituting booking slots among their own fleets.



'I am encouraged by the growth we are seeing for the container segment, though we are tracking changes in global trade flows vigilantly,' said deputy administrator Ilya Espino de Marotta. 'The extension of these measures underscores our commitment first and foremost to our customers.'



Transits at the Panama Canal climbed from 845 in June to 933 in July, and August is showing a similar trend. The increase was largely driven by a surge in containership transits along the US East Coast to Asia route.


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