Ship Agents in Panama

Booking Condition 1A in the Panamax Locks

PANAMA FLASH!Booking Condition 1A in the Panamax Locks

Panama City – August 30th, 2023 | The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the booking condition 3 will be into effect until September 2nd, 2023.  As of September 3rd, 2023 the booking condition will be returned to 1A granting additional booking slots in the 3rd booking period but reducing the daily capacity of non-booked vessels.

The queue as of August 29th for the Panamax locks:

Vessel’s categoryQueue Booked / non-bookedQueue Non-booked
Supers89 vessels45 vessels
Regulars21 vessels10 vessels

On September 3rd, 2023, the previously imposed condition 3 to the transit reservation system will be lifted, opening the opportunity for an increased number of booking slots per day. However, it’s important to note that the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will continue to uphold the reduction in transit capacity, which was announced on July 30th, 2023. This reduction will limit the transit of ships to 32 per day.

This adjustment in transit capacity was instated in response to the effects of the “El Niño” phenomenon, which led to a significant decrease in precipitation. The primary goal of this measure is to ensure the maintenance of a minimum acceptable water level in Gatun Lake by the conclusion of the rainy season in December 2023.

Based on current projections, there’s a possibility that this reduced transit capacity might extend until the subsequent rainy season, expected around April or May 2024. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this projection is subject to change based on weather events and other factors.

We strongly encourage our valued customers to actively engage with the transit reservation and auction systems to effectively mitigate any potential delays in the Panama Canal waterway.

The demand for the transit reservation system has surged significantly, leading to an increased competition for slots. These slots are assigned based on the priority of customer ranking. Additionally, the auction system dedicated to Panamax vessels remains remarkably dynamic. On average, the winning bid stands at $400,000 for super (above 91ft in beam) vessels and $60,000 for regular (below 91ft in beam).

The earliest available slots on a first come first serve basis are in January 2024 for Supers and end of September for regulars. Any date earlier than the previously mentioned will need to participate at the opening of each period in the booking competition and slots will be assigned to the customers with the highest ranking.

For additional information, please reach out to our operators at


Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.

Bldg. 3825  – Office 204

Howard – Panama-Pacifico

Panama, Rep. of Panama

Tel: (507) 304-4600

Main email:  (24 hours)


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