- The Panama Canal will provide expedited transit to ships with low-emissions through tis new Environmental Premium Ranking system, set to begin Jan. 1, according to a recent press release.
- The new system would boost carrier's ranking within the current rewards system, which is based on frequent transit, by adding 10-20% more points per crossing.
- Carrier sustainability is measured through official documentation based on one of three international low-emissions thresholds (EEDI, ESI, or NOx), or through documentation certifying the vessel runs on Liquid Natural Gas.
With sustainability washing over the shipping industry, the new Panama Canal emissions rewards program enables green-conscious ships to gain an edge over vessels built without the environment in mind. The new program is also another tool the Panama Canal is using to increase its market share of East-West trade.
Currently, Panama is outpacing the Suez Canal both in its sustainability efforts and economically. The Panama canal takes in roughly $5.2 billion per year, while the Suez has thus far earned $3 billion in 2016. But as vessel speeds increase with demand for shorter lead times, both canals are doing what they can expedite traffic through their zones, and retain market share.