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Booking System

Reservation Slots

Panama Canal Authority offers a determined number of slots through various booking periods, with an emphasis on their preference system.

At this time, slots offered through the auction process have become of significant interest, particularly in times of congestion. These slots are announced 3-2 days prior to the desired transit date.

Due to the complexity of the Canal Authority’s booking system, we encourage customers to establish contact as soon as possible for guidance and recommendations on available options.

Reservation Procedure

The request for transit reservation (booking) is done electronically through online applications on a "no cure - no pay basis."​

The specific daily order of transit for booked vessels is determined by the Canal Authority and does not follow a priority of request or arrival time.

A vessel booked for transit will be considered to have transited the Canal on its reserved transit date if the vessel arrives at the first set of locks at either Canal terminal prior 2400 hours that day and her In-Transit Time (ITT) is 18 hours or less, with the exception of one category vessel classified as Panamax Plus which ITT is 36 hours.

Booking Forfeiture

Booked vessels that do not comply with the established arrival deadline within its category, or that are not ready to proceed at the time of scheduled transit will forfeit the booking fee and lose the booked transit.


If a vessel forfeited a booked transit, the Canal Authority will place the vessel in the queue of those vessels waiting for canal transit based on actual arrival time.

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