Do you have cargo operations before your transit through the Panama Canal?


As an integrated and diverse provider of shipping, logistics and maritime services, we understand that every operation is unique and therefore we share certain considerations for your stopover at any terminal before transiting the channel.

The Balboa (Pacific side) and Cristobal (Atlantic side) terminals handle several services for cargo segments, in addition to the diversity of ancillary services that Panama, as a regional hub, offers to international maritime trade, such as: repairs , bunkering, provisioning and maintenance of services such as crew change, garbage removal, sludge removal, water supply, etc. The main cargoes are containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk, passengers, vehicle carriers and also includes the new LNG terminal on the Cristobal side.

What documents should be available?

Vessels arriving for any cargo operation must provide:
– Vessel details
– Cargo securing plan
– Cargo Receivers Details
– Copy of bill of lading

Since Panama’s main port terminals are located within the jurisdictional waters of the Canal, they are required to comply with Canal Authority regulations.

Pilotage and tugboat services are organized and coordinated by Panama Port Control, which is a division of the Panama Canal Authority.

Port entry and exit are coordinated by the Panama Canal VTS stations, Balboa Signal on the Pacific side and Cristobal Signal on the Atlantic side.

Docking and departures

At the Balboa and Cristobal Terminals, the berthing and departure of ships is subject to the availability of the maneuvering window depending on the transit convoy of Neo Panamax ships (width greater than 107 feet).

These Neopanamax sized vessels have priority in free channel restrictions, where they cannot encounter any other oncoming vessels while navigating the approach channels, limiting the timing of docking and undocking maneuvers.

Constant communication
Vessels arriving for cargo operations prior to Canal transit should maintain constant communication with their Port Agents for pre-arrival formalities, berthing prospects and Canal transit prospects.

The latter must be closely monitored by each Agent in order to effectively manage the ship’s delays between the completion of cargo operations and the preparation of the ship for the transit of the Canal.
Source: Norton Lilly International (Panama) ([email protected])


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