MOL Benefactor paid record fee for passage through Panama Canal

MOL BenefactorPanama Canal reached a new record for received fee about passage of a vessel through the new locks, just a week after commissioning of the reconstructed and expanded inter-oceanic waterway. According to the Panama Canal Administration the fee for passage of container carrier MOL Benefactor, which is operating under the flag of Hong Kong, were paid 829.4 thousand USD. The previous record belonged to ship of Cosco Shipping and amounted to 575.5 thousand USD. The fee for transition of Panama Canal is calculated on fixed formula, depending on vessel’s capacity and size.

“A vessel with length of 337.00 m and width of 48.00 m, was held on the new gateway in north direction today, on July 1. The vessel was held on gateways in the area Kokolo on the Pacific coast and then proceed to the gateway at Agua Clara on the Atlantic coast”, said the official statement of Panama Canal Authority. “The cost for the handling and passage of the vessel set a new record for the canal”, adds statement.

The new gateway locks of Panama Canal were opened on June 26. Work on the expansion of the waterway started in 2007. Each of the new gateway has length of 426.70 m, width of 54.80 and depth of 18.20 m, which allows passage of container carriers with capacity of up to 14,000 TEU. It is expected that the capacity of the waterway may increase to 600 million tons per year, which is two times higher than before the reconstruction and expansion.

There are currently about 166 vessels passing through the reserved new gateways in the coming months. After completing the expansion of the waterway, the Panama Canal Authority hopes to significantly increase its attractiveness for companies engaged in transportation of cargoes on the routes linking the Asian countries with the United States.