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Shorter Traveling Distance & Larger Capacity

The Panama Canal is a lock-type canal, so it does not employ the convoy system.


In 1983 the Canal adopted an optional transit reservation system with a daily, limited number of payable bookings.


Each vessel is assigned a transit schedule in accordance with regulations governing pilotage and other restrictions imposed by the vessel's type, size, and/or cargo.


Wilford & McKay liaises closely with the Panama Canal Authority for safe and smooth transits through the waterway keeping customers well informed of the dynamic canal traffic situation and all available options which may be considered to avoid delays trying to keep ship demurrage times and operating costs minimal.


Due to the complexity of the reservation system, we encourage inquiries regarding pre-booking options.

Financial Arrangements

The Panama Canal Authority and port operators, require bank guarantees for Canal transit and port expenses prior commencing transit or harbor operations. 

Cost Calculator

Calculate cost estimate charges for Panama Canal

transit, docking at port terminals at Canal waters,

and bookings via the Canal Authority’s calculator tool.

PCSOPEP Coverage

Panama Canal Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (PCSOPEP). All toll-paying vessels with 400 MT or more carrying capacity of oil as cargo and/or fuel are required to submit a valid plan 96 hrs prior to arrival to canal waters.

Request a quote or contact us with other inquiries

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Booking System

A booked transit will guarantee the vessel's passage no later than the booked date; however, the transit schedule will be assigned by Canal Authority a day before transit date, considering the vessel's category, the transit restriction and the mixture of vessels transiting in both north and southbound directions.

Transit Requirements

What You Need to Know About Canal Requirements. Discover all requirements from pre-arrival information, required documents, technical approvals for a smooth and hassle-free transit.

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