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Leaving | by Simon Chorley
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"Tolls for the canal are decided by the Panama Canal Authority and are based on vessel type, size, and the type of cargo carried.[16]


For container ships, the toll is assessed per "TEU" (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), which is the size of a container measuring 20 feet by 8 feet by 8.5 feet (6 m by 2.4 m by 2.6 m). Effective May 1, 2006, this toll is US$49 per TEU. This is scheduled to rise to US$54 on May 1, 2007. A Panamax container ship may carry up to 4,400 TEU. A reduced toll is charged for container ships "in ballast"; ie. travelling empty, with no cargo or passengers.


Most other types of vessel pay a toll per PC/UMS net ton, in which one "ton" is actually a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.8 m³). (The calculation of tonnage for commercial vessels is quite complex.) As of 2006, this toll is US$2.96 per ton for the first 10,000 tons, US$2.90 per ton for the next 10,000 tons, and US$2.85 per ton thereafter. As with container ships, a reduced toll is charged for freight ships "in ballast".


Small vessels are assessed tolls based on their length. As of 2006, these are:

Length of vessel Toll

Up to 15.240 metres (50 ft) US$500

More than 15.240 metres (50 ft) up to 24.384 metres (80 ft) US$750

More than 24.384 metres (80 ft) up to 30.480 metres (100 ft) US$1,000

More than 30.480 metres (100 ft) US$1,500


The most expensive toll for canal passage to date was charged on 30 May 2006 to the container ship Maersk Dellys, which paid US$249,165.00 for passage. The least expensive toll was 36 cents to American adventurer Richard Halliburton who swam the canal in 1928.[17] The average toll is around US$54,000."



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Taken on April 21, 2007