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Panama Canal using AIS for just-in-time service

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is testing a system using satellite AIS (Automatic Identification System) to help vessels arrive just in time for their transit and reduce their fuel consumption.

The just-in-time (JIT) service will allow ships to arrive at the Panama Canal closer to their scheduled transit time. They will thus have to remain at anchor for less time before actually beginning transit.

The concept is being tested on vessels equipped with a type A AIS which have pre-registered, or are going to pre-register, with the canal authority.

The Panama Canal will then use satellite AIS technology to track the vessels within a range of 2,000 nautical miles before arrival and ensure that they can comply with their Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).

"This new service is part of our efforts to explore new options in order to better serve our customers,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said. “The Panama Canal is not only committed to maintaining a high quality service, but also improve in the necessary areas."

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